The morphogenesis of porcine rotavirus was similar in porcine kidney (PK) cell cultures and in porcine epithelial cells as examined by electron microscopy. Infected cells contained cytoplasmic, non-membrane-bound viroplasm and accumulations of virus particles within cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER). Three types of virus particles were noted: double-shelled or complete particles which averaged 77 nm in diam.; single-shelled or naked particles which ranged from 50 to 55 nm in diam.; and electron-dense nucleoids, or cores, 31 to 38 nm in diam. Virus particles acquired outer shells by budding through either matrices of granular, electron-dense viroplasm or membranes of distended RER. Accumulation of numerous single-shelled particles was observed only in PK cell cultures containing a high percentage of infected cells. In these cells, virus release occurred through disruption of the plasma membrane. Tubules, similar in diameter to the single-shelled particles, were observed in the nuclei of a few infected PK cells.


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