Narcissus-mosaic-virus RNA is translated into a coat-protein-sized product in wheat-germ cell-free extracts. This protein was shown to be very similar to authentic coat protein by partial proteolysis in SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis, and by serology. Fractionation of the RNA revealed a small RNA molecule of approx. 840 nucleotides, which alone coded for the coat protein. This subgenomic RNA was found to be encapsidated in a short virus particle.

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