Replication of the RNA of Bacteriophage R17

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Science  23 Oct 1964:
Vol. 146, Issue 3643, pp. 527-530
DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3643.527


Escherichia coli cells were irradiated with ultraviolet light to stop ribosomal RNA synthesis. After infection of such cells with the single-stranded RNA phage R17, the RNA most rapidly labeled by a pulse of tritiated uridine sedimented in a broad band in the 16S region of sucrose gradients. The effect of ribonuclease on this material and its behavior during a "chase" period in nonradioactive medium suggest that it consists of a core of double-stranded RNA, one strand of which—the viral strand—is continually displaced by a growing strand forming single-stranded tails and ultimately free 27S viral RNA.