F. C. Bawden (1908-1971) was a pioneering plant pathologist and virologist based at the Rothamsted Experimental Station in
England. He and N. W. Pirie were longtime collaborators in plant virology. During 1956-57 Franklin's team studied a number
of different virus samples provided by Bawden, and elucidated their structures. In this letter he included instructions for
storing and preparing a sample of the potato virus X, which Franklin had requested.
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1958-03-24 (March 24, 1958)
Bawden, F. C.
Rothamsted Experimental Station
Original Repository: Churchill Archives Centre. The Papers of Rosalind Franklin
Courtesy of the Churchill Archives Centre.
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Herewith the potato virus X. It contains very little salt and about 6 mg. of virus per ml. Keep it in the cold but don't
freeze it. As it tends to go insoluble, particularly when precipitated or sedimented, it may not prove a very suitable object
for you to study. Phosphate buffer is not to be recommended and I suggest you use M/20 borate buffer at about pH 7.5. Even
when already insoluble in water it will sometimes dissolve in this buffer, and it stays soluble in this buffer for longer
periods than in most other fluids we have tried. Your type of borosilicate glass should be quite suitable; indeed from what
I have already said about borate buffer, it may even be desirable. Potato virus X is more resistant to alkali than tobacco
mosaic virus, and much more so than A-protein.
As there is 40-50 mg. here, there should be enough for you to make several attempts and I wish you the best of luck.