In two distantly serologically related isolates (A and G12) of tomato black ring virus that each produce two RNA species, RNA-1 was found only in bottom component (B) particles and RNA-2 only in middle component (M) particles. Preparations of separated M and B particles were each barely infective, but produced 8 to 30 times more lesions when mixed, indicating that both kinds of particle are needed for infection, presumably because they contain different parts of the genome. Infectivity was not enhanced when M particles of isolate G12 were mixed with B particles of isolate A, but it was increased when M particles of isolate A were mixed with B particles of isolate G12. The lesions thus produced were abnormally small; isolates cultured from some of them were slower than the parental isolates to produce systemic symptoms in and had serological properties indicating that their coat protein cistron is in RNA-2. These properties were stable on subculture. Pseudo-recombinant isolates were also produced when RNA-2 of isolate A was mixed with RNA-1 of isolate G12, but not with the converse combination.


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