Seven temperature-sensitive () mutants of Moloney murine leukaemia virus (Mo-MuLV) were isolated using a rapid, non-selective replica plating technique designed to select for post-integration mutants. Thymus-bone marrow (TB) cells, infected with mutagenized virus, were cloned and incubated at the non-permissive temperature (39 °C) for 10 days. The resulting colonies were screened for production of virus by replica plating supernatant from the ‘master’ tray on to a second tray pre-seeded with fu-1 (a cell line derived from L8 myoblasts) indicator cells. The ‘master’ tray was shifted to the permissive temperature (34 °C) for 48 h, then re-screened for virus production. Any colony on the ‘master’ tray which produced syncytia-inducing virus at 34 °C but not at 39 °C was potentially producing a mutant. Preliminary characterization by shift-down experiments and scanning electron microscopy of three of the mutants isolated by this technique revealed a mutant blocked before budding, one blocked at an early stage in the budding process and one with a defect after release of the virus.


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