This report describes two related methods for decorating cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) with luminescent semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots, QDs). Variants of CPMV are immobilized on a substrate functionalized with NeutrAvidin using modifications of biotin-avidin binding chemistry in combination with metal affinity coordination. For example, using CPMV mutants expressing available 6-histidine sequences inserted at loops on the viral coat protein, we show that these virus particles can be specifically immobilized on NeutrAvidin functionalized substrates in a controlled fashion via metal-affinity coordination. To accomplish this, a hetero-bifunctional biotin-NTA moiety, activated with nickel, is used as the linker for surface immobilization of CPMV (bridging the CPMVs' histidines to the NeutrAvidin). Two linking chemistries are then employed to achieve CPMV decoration with hydrophilic CdSe-ZnS core-shell QDs; they target the histidine or lysine residues on the exterior virus surface and utilize biotin-avidin interactions. In the first scheme, QDs are immobilized on the surface-tethered CPMV via electrostatic attachment to avidin previously bound to the virus particle. In the second strategy, the lysine residues common to each viral surface asymmetric unit are chemically functionalized with biotin groups and the biotinylated CPMV is discretely immobilized onto the substrate via NeutrAvidin-biotin interactions. The biotin units on the upper exposed surface of the immobilized CPMV then serve as capture sites for QDs conjugated with a mixture of avidin and a second protein, maltose binding protein, which is also used for QD-protein conjugate purification. Characterization of the assembled CPMV and QD structures is presented, and the potential uses for protein-coated QDs functionalized onto this symmetrical virion nanoscaffold are discussed.