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Biophys J. 1965 May;5(3):257-73.

The Physical State of Viral Nucleic Acid and the Sensitivity of Viruses to Ultraviolet Light.


Ultraviolet light action spectra in the range 2250 to 3020 A have been determined for the plaque-forming ability of the following bacteriophage and animal viruses: T-2, varphix-174, R-17, fr, MS2, 7-S, fd, vesicular stomatitis, vaccinia, encephalomyocarditis, reovirus-3, and polyoma. Absolute quantum yields for the plaque-forming ability of MS2, fr, fd, varphix-174, and T-2 were determined over the range 2250 to 3020 A. Relative quantum yields for plaque-forming ability indicated that viruses with single-stranded nucleic acid were on the average ten times more sensitive to UV than double-stranded viruses. In addition for ten of the twelve viruses a relation existed between the shape of their action spectra and the stranded state of their nucleic acid. The ratio of the inactivation cross-section at 2650 A to that at 2250 A for these viruses was 1.0 for single-stranded viruses and 2.0 for viruses with double-stranded nucleic acid. The above relations were dependent on the stranded state of the nucleic acid not the ribose or deoxyribose form of the sugar present.

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