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Virology. 1999 May 25;258(1):30-41.

Genetic recombination of poliovirus in vitro and in vivo: temperature-dependent alteration of crossover sites.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, 11794-5222, USA.


Genetic recombination that occurs with high frequency during poliovirus genome replication is a process whose molecular mechanism is poorly understood. Studies of genetic recombination in a cell-free system in vitro and in infected tissue culture cells in vivo have led to the unexpected observation that temperature strongly influences the loci at which cross-over between the two recombining RNA strands occurs. Specifically, cross-over between two genetically marked RNA strands in vitro and in vivo at 34 degrees C occurred over a wide range of the genome. In contrast, recombination in vivo at 37 and 40 degrees C yielded cross-over patterns that had shifted dramatically to a region encoding nonstructural proteins. Preferential selection of recombinants at 37 and 40 degrees C was ruled out by analyses of the growth kinetics of the recombinants. During the studies of recombination in the cell-free system we found that there is a direct correlation between the ability of a poliovirus RNA molecule to replicate in the cell-free system and its capacity to complement de novo virus synthesis programmed by another viral RNA.

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