Previous studies demonstrated that some isolates of the sexually transmitted protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis are infected with a nonsegmented, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus. A reexamination of the total dsRNA extracted from several virus-harboring isolates indicated the presence of at least three dsRNAs with sizes ranging from 4.8 to 4.3 kbp. The double- stranded nature of each of the three segments was determined by hybridization experiments using riboprobes of opposite polarities obtained from cDNA generated to each of the segments. All three segments were present in agar clones originating from single organisms of T. vaginalis isolates, suggesting that the three segments were not the result of a mixed population of trichomonads harboring different sizes of dsRNA. The three segments were associated with CsCl-purified virus particles, as evidenced by electron microscopy, and RNase treatment of the preparation containing virus particles did not destroy the dsRNAs. Finally, the individual dsRNA segments were purified for use as probes to determine whether the three dsRNAs shared any sequence homology. Each end-labeled dsRNA segment did not cross-hybridize to any of the other two segments, a finding consistent with the hybridization of labeled cDNAs to only the segments from which they were derived. These results show that the coding capacity of the dsRNA virus may be at least three times greater than that estimated earlier and illustrates further the complexity of this virus-parasite interrelationship.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science