An unusual structure at one end of potato potyvirus particles

Lesley Torrance, Rasa Gabrenaite-Verhovskaya, Graham Cowan, Kristiina Mäkinen, Michael E Taliansky, Igor Andreyev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


The particles of potato virus Y (PVY) and potato virus A (PVA) potyviruses are helically constructed filaments that are thought to contain a single type of coat protein subunit. Examination of negatively stained virions by electron microscopy reveals flexuous rod-shaped particles with no obvious terminal structures. It is known that some helically constructed rod-shaped virus particles incorporate additional minor protein components, which form stable complexes that mediate particle disassembly, movement or transmission by vectors. Some of this information has been obtained using imaging techniques such as atomic force microscopy. The particles of PVY and PVA were examined by atomic force microscopy and immunogold labelling electron microscopy. Our results show that some of the potyvirus particles contain a protruding tip at one end of the virus particles, which is presumably associated with the 5'-end of viral RNA. The tip contains the virus-encoded proteins genome-linked protein and helper-component proteinase. The composition and possible roles of the terminal tip structures in virus biology are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2006


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Potyvirus
  • Protein Conformation
  • Viral Proteins


Dive into the research topics of 'An unusual structure at one end of potato potyvirus particles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this