Preparations of top (T), middle (M) and bottom (B) component particles were made by centrifuging purified raspberry ringspot virus in sucrose density gradients. Only B particles were infective alone, but infectivity was increased by adding excess M particles to B particles. RNA obtained from purified virus was fractionated by centrifuging in density gradients and by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Preparations of the larger RNA species (RNA-1, mol. wt 2.4 × 10) were infective but those of the smaller species (RNA-2, mol. wt 1.4 × 10) were not; infectivity of RNA-1 was greatly increased by addition of RNA-2. RNA-2 from M and B particles behaved similarly. The effect of RNA-2 was not mimicked by yeast RNA and was abolished by u.v. irradiation. The RNA-1 and RNA-2 of tobacco ringspot virus behaved like those of raspberry ringspot virus in infectivity tests, but no interaction was detected between RNA species from the two viruses. It is suggested that RNA-1 and RNA-2 carry different pieces of genetic information.


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