Three spontaneous mutants of strain TpM-34 of red clover necrotic mosaic virus, designated M-A, M-B and M-C, were isolated. In gel diffusion tests the three mutants were serologically indistinguishable from the parent but when inoculated onto each induced characteristic symptoms which differed from those induced by TpM-34. TpM-34 induced similar numbers of lesions at 17 °C and 26 °C. However, although inoculation with RNA of the mutants induced 70 to 80% as many lesions as inoculation with TpM-34 RNA at 17 °C, very few lesions were induced by any of the mutants at 26 °C. The symptoms induced by heterologous mixtures of RNA 1 or RNA 2 of TpM-34 with RNA 2 or RNA 1 of each mutant indicated that M-A, M-B and M-C each has mutations in both RNA components, but that symptom expression was determined predominantly by RNA 1.


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