An RNA-dependent RNA polymerase associated with particles of maize rough dwarf virus, a Fijivirus, was characterized using two assays differing in their energy regeneration systems. Optimum reaction rates occurred at pH 8.0 to 8.5 at 20 °C. The presence of virus and Mn or Mg was essential for enzyme activity; Mn stimulated more incorporation events than Mg, at optimum concentrations of 2 to 4 m and 4 m, respectively. Incorporation was not affected by α-amanitin, actinomycin D or rifampicin. The products synthesized were single-stranded RNAs which hybridized specifically with the double-stranded genomic RNAs of the template virus, but not with genomic RNAs of five other reoviruses. The transcripts were also used to detect maize rough dwarf virus RNA in plants and in vector insects.


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