Two mutually exclusive pathways of cytological change in the chloroplasts of Chinese cabbage cells infected with turnip yellow mosaic virus have been defined by light microscopic examination of individual infected protoplasts. In the first, all the chloroplasts in a cell became rounded and clumped together. This was followed by the development of a large vacuole, giving the chloroplast a sickled appearance. In the second pathway the chloroplasts became angular in outline before clumping, and subsequently fragmented to yield small pieces of chloroplast. Both these responses are controlled by the virus genome because some virus strains gave rise to the sickling response, while others cause fragmentation. Photosynthetic activity is a prerequisite for both pathways since they occur only when the protoplasts are illuminated, and both are inhibited by an inhibitor of photosynthetic electron transport.


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