The translation strategy of carnation mottle virus (CarMV) in vitro has been generally assumed to involve internal initiation events on full-length, genomic RNA (4.3 kb). We suggest that this is, at least in part, incorrect. Encapsidated RNA, fractionated on denaturing sucrose gradients, or total RNA from CarMV-infected leaves, fractionated under non-denaturing conditions, was translated in an mRNA-dependent rabbit reticulocyte cell-free system. Evidence for subgenomic RNAs which encode a polypeptide of Mr 38 000 was found. This product was shown to be related to authentic CarMV coat protein by partial proteolysis with α-chymotrypsin and SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis.

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