The structural polypeptides of five bunyaviruses, snowshoe hare, Lumbo and La Crosse viruses (members of the California encephalitis subgroup of bunyaviruses), Bunyamwera and Main Drain viruses (members of the Bunyamwera subgroup of bunyaviruses), have been compared by polyacrylamide-SDS gel electrophoresis. Each virus was found to possess three major structural polypeptides, two glycoproteins (G1 and G2), and one nucleocapsid protein (N). Although the sizes of the G1 polypeptides (mol. wt. approx. 115 × 10) and G2 polypeptides (mol. wt. approx. 38 × 10) of the five viruses were found to be essentially similar, the sizes of the N polypeptides of the various viruses differed (mol. wt. range 19 to 24 × 10). The RNA genomes of four bunyaviruses (snowshoe hare, La Crosse, Bunyamwera and Main Drain) have also been compared. Each virus has three RNA species of mol. wt. approx. 3 × 10, 1.9 × 10 and 0.4 × 10. Minor size differences were observed for the smallest RNA species of the four viruses (mol. wt. range 0.34 to 0.50 × 10). For snowshoe hare virus the RNA segments have a 5′ sequence of pppAp … which suggests that the RNA is linear and not circular.


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