Bacteriophage Φ6 has two unique aspects that have resulted in its utility as a model system for processes in more complex systems. The virus contains a genome composed of three segments of double-stranded (ds) RNA. The replication of the genome appears to be similar to that of the dsRNA viruses that infect eukaryotic organisms. Φ6 is therefore a useful system for studying the basic mechanisms of dsRNA replication and genomic packaging. In addition, the viral nucleocapsid is enveloped by a lipid-containing membrane that is very simple in its protein composition. The assembly inside the infected cells offers a model for the study of membrane differentiation and translocation. The Φ6 system has proved to be amenable to analysis. The entire genome is cloned as cDNA and the nucleotide sequence of the cDNA is determined. In addition, it has been possible to isolate nonsense mutants for 9 of the 12 genes of Φ6 and temperature-sensitive (ts) or missense mutants for two others. The virion contains a very active transcriptase that is capable of directing the synthesis of full-length messages of the three genomic segments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases