Purification of Filamentous Viruses and Virus-Induced Noncapsid Proteins

  • Alan A. Brunt
Part of the The Viruses book series (VIRS)


During the 50 years or so since tobacco mosaic virus was first purified (Stanley, 1935), many different procedures have been developed for purifying less stable plant viruses such as those with filamentous particles. Partially purified preparations so obtained have permitted the major properties and affinities of many such viruses to be determined. Very pure preparations, however, are now required for the further characterization of the viruses and their nucleic acids and proteins and as a prerequisite for the development of rapid and sensitive methods of virus detection and identification. It has long been recognized that filamentous viruses are usually difficult to purify because their particles often remain adsorbed to normal cell constituents, tend in vitro to fragment (Miki and Knight, 1967; Chicko and Guthrie, 1969; Tavantzis, 1983), and tend to aggregate side to side (e.g., Kassanis and Govier, 1972) and/or end to end (e.g., Bercks, 1970; Welsh et al., 1973; Purcifull and Shepherd, 1964). Virus particles also often remain insolubly aggregated after sedimentation by high-speed centrifugation or precipitation with protein precipitants. In addition, contamination of preparations by host or microbial enzymes can result in proteolysis of the viral coat proteins (Koenig et al., 1970, 1978; Tremaine and Agrawal, 1972; Hiebert et al.,1984c) and/or digestion of their RNA (Fribourg and De Zoeten, 1970; Lister and Hadidi, 1971; Lister and Bar-Joseph, 1981). Moreover, the particles and plant contaminants may be so closely bound together that they are either inseparable or separated only with significant losses of virus (Schlegel and DeLisle, 1971). Basic procedures commonly used for purifying stable plant viruses have been well reviewed in the past two decades (e.g., Francki, 1972; Gibbs and Harrison, 1976; Matthews, 1981; Hull, 1985). I briefly review here methods that have been especially useful for purifying definite and possible members of the potex-, carla-, poty-, clostero-, capillo-, and tenuivirus groups and the noncapsid proteins of various types induced by some of the viruses.


Mosaic Virus Potato Virus Tobacco Etch Virus Rice Stripe Virus Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan A. Brunt
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Horticultural ResearchLittlehampton, West SussexEngland

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