The genome of the influenza A virus consists of eight different segments. These eight segments are thought to be sorted selectively in infected cells. However, the cellular compartment where segments are sorted is not known. We examined using temperature sensitive (ts) mutant viruses and cell fusion where segments are sorted in infected cells. Different cells were infected with different ts mutant viruses, and these cells were fused. In fused cells, genome segments are mixed only in the cytoplasm, because M1 prevents their re-import into the nucleus. We made a marker ts53 virus, which has silent mutations in given segments and determined the reassortment frequency on all segments using ts1 and marker ts53. In both co-infected and fused cells, all of marker ts53 segments and ts1 segments were incorporated into progeny virions in a random fashion. These results suggest that influenza virus genome segments are sorted after nuclear export.
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