1. Comparisons of the nitrogen content of TMV-infected and uninfected tobacco leaf discs at various times after inoculation show that virus synthesis is associated with a net increase in protein content. This excess protein is due to: (a) TMV, (b) an excess in insoluble protein which develops soon after inoculation and ends about 100 hours before cessation of TMV synthesis, and (c) an excess in soluble non-virus protein, which is variable in size and which only occurs during the time of virus synthesis. A deficiency in non-protein nitrogen occurs during the time when virus appears.
2. Isotope experiments with N15-labelled nutrient show that: (a) The bulk of TMV nitrogen is derived from the free ammonia of the host tissue. (b) Amino acid residues of TMV protein are not derived from the corresponding free amino acids in the host. (c) The appearance of TMV is preceded by the synthesis of an insoluble precursor of the virus which is then converted into TMV or some soluble intermediate protein. This effect is associated with a cell particulate which represents a small fraction of the total insoluble protein. (d) Infected tissue synthesizes de novo small amounts of soluble non-virus protein, which may represent intermediates in TMV synthesis. (e) Infected tissue fails to synthesize a rapidly turned-over soluble protein which is synthesized in comparable uninfected tissue. (f) TMV synthesis is preceded by a temporary enhancement of the metabolic stability of an insoluble protein component.
3. The results lead to the conclusion that TMV formation is due to diversion of some part of the host's protein-synthesizing apparatus from its normal course.