The three-dimensional structure of reovirus obtained by cryo-electron microscopy

EMBO J. 1991 Nov;10(11):3129-36.


The structures of reovirus serotypes T2J (Jones), T3D (Dearing) and the T3D core particle have been determined by cryo-electron microscopy and image processing. At a resolution of 30 A the two serotypes have similar features. The core is visible within the virus structure. The outer surface of the virus particles contains 120 holes at T = 13.1 local 6-fold axes. The holes penetrate into the virus as far as the surface of the internal core shell. Protrusions extending 4 nm from the virus surface surround each hole on the outside of the virus. At the 5-fold axes on the surface of the virus flat 'penton craters' form covers over the underlying core spikes. The detailed structure of the reovirus shell is very different to that of rotavirus although both have holes at T = 13.1 axes. Little evidence was seen of reovirus fibres extending from the virus surface.

MeSH terms

  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Reoviridae / ultrastructure*
  • Virion / ultrastructure