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Improved Method for the Isolation and Propagation of Defective Tobacco Mosaic Virus Mutants. Jeffrey J. Hubert, Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of California, La Jolla 92093; Don P. Bourque, Departments of Biochemistry and Nutrition and Food Science, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721. Phytopathology 71:295-296. Accepted for publication 18 July 1980. Copyright 1981 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-71-295.

A method is described for rapid isolation and screening of mutant virus strains which yields a high frequency of defective mutants. This method also can be employed to rescue defective mutants from infected plants contaminated by competing revertant wild-type virus strains. To successfully transfer and recover defective mutant isolates, it is necessary to use, as inoculum, lesions at the first sign of their appearance on the leaf surface. Transferable infectivity is rapidly lost with increasing lesion age.