The nature of the DNA in incomplete particles (IP) synthesized by adenovirus type 2 and the 4 mutant which accumulates such particles were analysed by agarose gel electrophoresis, restriction endonuclease cleavage and blot hybridization techniques. IP DNA consisted of a heterogeneous population of subgenomic-size DNA (IPSD) and smaller molecules ranging from about 1000 base pairs to 200 base pairs (IPSD). IPSD from 4 was more heterogeneous than that from wild-type (wt), but both contained sequences from all parts of the viral genome. IPSD contained heterogeneous cellular sequences and viral sequences from the left 4.4% of the genome. An endonuclease activity associated with IP and virions was capable of digesting viral or cellular DNA to IPSD-like fragments suggesting a possible origin for these molecules.


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