Temperature-sensitive () mutants of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) were isolated and studied for interferon (IFN) induction in primary chick embryo (CE) cells. At the non-permissive temperature (41 °C), there was no viral RNA synthesis or IFN induction by u.v.-treated virions except for -3 (RNA), which did synthesize RNA at 41 °C, and whose u.v.-treated virions did induce IFN at this temperature. Another mutant (-4) induced IFN without irradiation, at the permissive temperature (37 °C). The minimum u.v. target size for IFN inducibility was unaffected by the mutation and corresponded to about 5% of the genome required for the expression of infectivity. These results support the hypothesis that the appearance of NDV RNA immediately after infection (primary transcription) plays a key role in IFN induction.


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