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Virology. 1991 May;182(1):102-10.

Properties of the human herpesvirus 6 strain Z29 genome: G + C content, length, and presence of variable-length directly repeated terminal sequence elements.

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Department of Biology, Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee 38112.


We have studied the structure of the human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) genome. The density of genomic DNA is approximately 1.702 g/cm3 as determined by isopycnic density gradient centrifugation, from which a mean G + C content of 43% was calculated. The genomic termini were examined by exonuclease digestion and DNA/DNA hybridization; relative molarities of restriction fragments were determined by quantitative densitometry. The results indicate that the HHV-6(Z29) genome has two unique termini and consists of a long unique segment bounded by a directly repeated sequence element found in one copy at each end of the genome. We estimated the length of the genome by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and by summation of restriction endonuclease fragment lengths. We observed two forms of HHV-6(Z29) DNA of approximately 162 and 168 kb in length. The length heterogeneity was localized within the terminal repeat element, each copy of which is approximately 10.1 kb in length in the shorter form of the genome and 13.2 kb in length in the longer form of the genome.

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