The ultrastructural organization of virus chromatin was studied within nuclei prepared from CV1 cells (cultured monkey kidney cells) lytically infected with SV40 virus (simian virus 40) by a procedure which allows a mild loosening of nucleoproteins. In addition to dispersed host components, DNA-containing nucleoplasmic structures could be identified as virus chromatin. Both standard staining for structure and specific staining for DNA clearly revealed in thin sections the nucleosomal structure of well-extended virus chromatin as well as alignments of virions on host chromatin. In addition, replicating and transcribing virus chromatins were abundant as revealed by high-resolution authoradiography. Therefore, the procedure of loosening of nucleoproteins used in this report also preserves the active SV40 chromatin and allows the visualization in Epon sections of transcription and replication of the virus genome.


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