SUMMARY: The nucleic acid contents of purified suspensions of mouse pneumonitis organisms (Nigg), pox viruses, adenovirus type 5, the iridescent virus of Tipula and avian myeloblastosis virus were analysed. From these results and published information the absolute amounts of nucleic acid in each virus particle were calculated and are presented in tabular form. Some generalizations can be made about the nucleic acid composition of different groups of organisms reproduced in cells; these are discussed in relation to the possible evolutionary origins of the organisms.


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