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Virus Genes. 2001 Jun;22(3):247-54.

Diversity, distribution, and mobility of bro gene sequences in Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Pathologie Comparée, UMR 5087 INRA, CNRS, Université de Montpellier II, St Christol les Alès, France.


Genetic differences between strains of a baculovirus are often limited to some restriction sites, short DNA deletions or absence of some nonessential genes. The recently coined bro gene family, represents a new major source of intraspecific variability. A comparison between two bro gene sets of Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedroviruses (NPV) shows that bro genes are distributed in three regions for the -T3 and -SC7 virus strains. In BmNPV T3, five bro genes are distributed in three genome locations, whereas the BmNPV SC7 strain possess a single bro copy in each region. In addition, each of the BmNPV SC7 bro genes belongs to one of the three subfamilies present in BmNPV T3. Analysis of bro copy sequences and of adjacent sequences suggests an active redistribution of sequences due to intraspecific recombination. The maintenance of one allele of each subfamily suggests that they play different roles in the viral cycle, and that they are essential.

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