A mammalian cell-adapted mutant of the Dobson strain of fowl plague virus (FPV-B) was characterized. Genetic analyses of recombinants between a mutant of this virus and either the non-adapted Dobson strain or the Rostock strain of FPV showed that the gene coding for the P3 protein of the adapted Dobson strain was sufficient to enable any recombinant to grow in L cells.

The abortive cycle of wild-type Dobson strain (FPV+) was compared to the productive cycle of the mutant. By using 100 p.f.u./cell, no quantitative difference could be detected in infected L cells between polypeptides and cRNAs induced by FPV+ and FPV-B. However, the maturation of virions at the plasma membrane did not proceed correctly. At a lower m.o.i. the amounts of virus polypeptides decreased with the m.o.i. This decrease was not the same for all polypeptides and cRNA segments: HA, M and NA and their mRNAs decreased to a greater extent than the others. These results are discussed in relation to a possible biological activity of polypeptide P3.


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