Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) RNA, isolated as virion RNA from purified virus particles or as total RNA from infected cells, has been microinjected into nuclei and cytoplasms of BHK cells. When injected directly into the nucleus FMDV RNA was not infectious, whereas cytoplasmic injection resulted in a high proportion of productive infections. Infectivity microinjection assays on dilution series of various FMDV RNAs showed that both single-stranded positive sense 35S RNA and double-stranded replicative form (Rf) RNA have an infectivity close to 1 p.f.u. per molecule, although only a minor fraction of BHK cells appeared able to support plaque formation following microinjection of Rf FMDV RNA. The infectivity of Rf FMDV RNA was not sensitive to inhibition by actinomycin D. The results are discussed in relation to the high virus particle to p.f.u. ratios observed for FMDV.


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