Measurements of incorporation of H-histidine into proteins in discs from tobacco mosaic virus-infected leaves suggest that the rate of host protein synthesis is reduced by up to 75% during virus multiplication but then recovers. Polyadenylated messenger RNAs from healthy and virus-infected plants were found to have similar size distributions and polyadenylic acid chains of similar lengths. Tobacco mosaic virus infection did not cause any alteration in the concentration of host polyadenylated messenger RNA. This makes it unlikely that rates of transcription or turnover of host polyadenylated messenger RNA were altered by infection. It is suggested that inhibition of host protein synthesis during virus multiplication may result from controls at the translational level, possibly by competition between the messenger RNAs for virus and host proteins.


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