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Plant Viruses and Virus Diseases

Nature volume 145, page 122 (27 January 1940) | Download Citation



THE earlier investigations of virus diseases of plants were attempted by the standard methods of the plant pathologists, and failed to reveal the cause of the disease, or to elucidate the nature of the infective agents. These methods have been supplemented by a technique of the widest biological basis, including that used by biochemists and physicists to investigate proteins and other compounds of high molecular weight. The author, with his colleagues, has played a prominent part in the isolation, purification and chemical recognition of nucleoproteins obtained only from infected plants. His hypothesis, freely accepted to-day, considers the nucleoproteins to be the viruses; this forms the theme of his book, which might with advantage have been entitled “Recent Research on the Nature of Plant Viruses”. Thus it differs, particularly in outlook but also in treatment, from other recent text-books of virus diseases which are primarily concerned with the economic host plants; this one especially considers the infective agents.

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