An HZ-1 baculovirus clone isolated from persistently infected (TN-368) tissue culture cells was homogeneous as determined by particle morphology and restriction enzyme analysis of virus DNA. Re-establishment of a persistent infection of TN-368 cells with this clone (B1) was unsuccessful. There was a 99% decrease in infectious virus titre following 10 passages in tissue culture at a high multiplicity of infection, and the 10th passage virus population was capable of establishing a persistently infected cell line (TN-B1). Based on particle morphology, restriction enzyme analysis, and focus-forming plaque assays, the virus recovered from TN-B1 cells included a high percentage of defective virus particles which did not interfere with the infection of second-passage B1 virus particles. The role of defective HZ-1 virus particles in the establishment of persistent infections is discussed.


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