Full-length measles virus RNA molecules isolated from purified virions or nucleocapsids and examined by electron microscopy were 5.12(±0.12) µm in length, corresponding to a molecular weight of 5.2(±0.1) × 10. Purified virions examined by negative staining in the electron microscope exhibited a pleomorphic range of particle sizes varying in diameter between 300 nm and 1000 nm. Purified nucleocapsids had dimensions of 21 nm (diameter) × 1254(±7) nm (length) and a central core of diameter about 5 nm. Full-length nucleocapsids were composed of 204(±3) protein discs. The pitch of the nucleocapsid helix was calculated to be 6.1 nm and the helix angle, α, to be 8° 16′. Approximate volume calculations indicate that each enveloped virus particle contains multiple nucleocapsids.


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