DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour transmission electron micrograph showing particles (orange dots) of Pea Enation Mosaic virus (PEMV) infecting the nucleus of a tobacco protoplast cell. The tubular complexes coloured pink & orange are crystal-like structures composed of the viral protein that is used to house & protect the nucleic acid of the virus. The virus hijacks the host cell's synthetic machinery (DNA) & instructs it to code for its own nucleic acid which, in the case of PEMV, is RNA. The effect of PEMV infection on the plant is outright death, mottling of the leaves, or severe lesions on the surface of the leaf. Magnification: x18,000 at 6x4.5cm size.
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