Structure of Small Viruses


Title:
Structure of Small Viruses
Creator:
Watson, James D., 1928-
Crick, Francis, 1916-2004
Date:
10 March 1956
Description:
Renewing their collaboration during Watson's return to the Cavendish laboratory in the fall of 1955, Watson and Crick in this article laid out a theory for explaining why all plant viruses whose structure had been studied up to that time were very similar in shape, either rod-shaped (cylindrical) or spherical. In developing their theory they once again benefited from their complementary expertise, namely Crick's extensive knowledge of X-ray crystallography and Watson's previous studies with tobacco mosaic virus and ribonucleic acid. They proposed that plant viruses consistently took one of two shapes because the two chemical components of which they were made up, ribonucleic acid surrounded by a large number of identical protein subunits, were assembled according to a general plan that was determined by "symmetry elements," structural requirements imposed by the shape of each protein subunit and by the angles of the bonds they formed with the ribonucleic acid core.
Periodical:
Nature
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of the Nature Publishing Group. and http://www.nature.com/nature/
Genre:
Articles
Format:
Text
Extent:
3 pages
Language:
English
Legacy Source Citation:
Periodical. Crick, Francis, and James D. Watson. "Structure of Small Viruses." Nature 177, 4506 (10 March 1956): 473-475. Article. 3 Images.. Nature
Legacy ID:
SCBBZN
NLM ID:
101584582X395
Profiles Collection:
The Francis Crick Papers
Story Section:
Defining the Genetic Coding Problem, 1954-1957