The Tobacco Mosaic Virus

by • November 25, 2010 • Nature, ScienceComments (0)6059

Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is a positive-sense single stranded RNA virus that infects plants, especially tobacco and other members of the family Solanaceae.  The infection causes characteristic patterns (mottling and discoloration) on the leaves (hence the name).  TMV was the first virus to ever be discovered.  Although it was known from the late 19th century that an infectious disease was damaging tobacco crops, it was not until 1930 that the infectious agent was determined to be a virus.  Nonetheless, it’s beautiful to look at under a microscope.

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