Purified suspensions of iridescent virus were treated with a nasal decongestant, negatively stained and examined in the electron microscope. The outer icosahedral surface of the virus particles showed morphological subunits apparently in close-packed hexagonal array and 70 Å apart. The orientation of untreated particles was determined from their outline. This made it possible to measure precisely their icosahedral edge-length (860 ± 27 Å).

Prolonged storage of purified virus in distilled water at 4° resulted in disintegration of the particles into triangular, pentagonal and linear fragments. The triangles of side 700 Å were clearly composed of 55 hexagonally arrayed subunits 70 Å apart. Edges of the pentagons appeared to consist of three subunits also about 70 Å apart, while the linear fragments had a broad length distribution about a mean of 438 Å.

All these observations, interpreted by a new approach to the ‘Goldberg diagram’, suggested that the virus surface is composed of 1562 morphological subunits, though alternatives of 1292 and 1472 subunits cannot be excluded.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error