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J Virol. 2008 Jan;82(1):582-7. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Identification and classification of endogenous retroviruses in cattle.

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Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Hwayang-dong, Kwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701, South Korea.


The aim of this study was to identify the endogenous retrovirus (ERV) sequences in a bovine genome. We subjected bovine genomic DNA to PCR with degenerate or ovine ERV (OERV) family-specific primers that aimed to amplify the retroviral pro/pol region. Sequence analysis of 113 clones obtained by PCR revealed that 69 were of retroviral origin. On the basis of the OERV classification system, these clones from degenerate PCR could be divided into the beta3, gamma4, and gamma9 families. PCR with OERV family-specific primers revealed an additional ERV that was classified into the bovine endogenous retrovirus (BERV) gamma7 family. In conclusion, here we report the results of a genome scale study of the BERV. Our study shows that the ERV family expansion in cattle may be somewhat limited, while more diverse family members of ERVs have been reported from other artiodactyls, such as pigs and sheep.

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