Previous studies have indicated that all naturally occurring murine leukemia viruses propagate significantly more efficiently on embryo cells of either NIH Swiss or BALB/c mice.
Studies of the plaquing efficiency of representative viruses on embryo cells of various inbred and hybrid mice indicate that the pattern of sensitivity of the cells is genetically determined. All of 23 strains tested were found to resemble either NIH Swiss (N-type) or BALB/c (B-type) with respect to plaquing efficiency of these viruses. Virus growth on embryo cells derived from (N-type x B-type)F1 hybrids indicated dominance of resistance to both types of viruses. Backcross hybrid studies indicated that a single locus is the primary determinant of the host-range patterns observed. This locus has no effect on growth of certain laboratory-passaged leukemia viruses which propagate equally well on embryo cells of all mouse strains, F1, and backcross hybrids. Though other genetic and nongenetic factors influence viral growth or expression in vitro and in vivo, the genetic locus described appears of major significance in the biology of murine leukemia.