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Virology. 1989 Dec;173(2):566-80.

Physical structure and molecular cloning of equine cytomegalovirus DNA.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport 71130.


Restriction endonuclease (RE) mapping studies and molecular hybridization analyses were conducted to determine the molecular structure of the genome of equine cytomegalovirus (ECMV). The ECMV genome is a linear, double-stranded DNA with a molecular size of 126 +/- 0.6 MDa (189 kbp). A library of cloned BamHI, EcoRI, and HindIII fragments of the viral genome was used to construct RE maps. Individual 32P-labeled cloned DNA fragments were hybridized to Southern blots of viral genomic DNA digested to completion with BamHI, EcoRI, HindIII, or SalI. These analyses revealed that the ECMV genome consists of a 97-MDa unique long region which is bracketed by repeated sequences. At one terminus of the genome, a 21.3-MDa segment of repeated sequences with no apparent unique sequences was identified. At the other terminus, a 6-MDa unique region bracketed by 2.4-MDa repeat segments was identified. No submolar RE fragments were identified upon digestion of the ECMV genome with BamHI, EcoRI, HindIII, SalI, or other REs, including BclI, BglII, NruI, and XbaI. The genome possesses only two termini as judged by lambda exonuclease digestion and by T4 DNA polymerase end-labeling of the intact DNA followed by digestion with BamHI, EcoRI, HindIII, SalI, BclI, BglII, NruI, or XbaI. In addition, Southern blot analysis of DNA extracted from ECMV-infected rabbit kidney cells revealed that only one viral DNA fragment within the intracellular viral DNA pool contains fused genomic termini. Taken together, these observations indicate that the ECMV genome does not isomerize and suggest that the genome of ECMV may be unique among those of the herpesviruses and especially those of the betaherpesviruses (cytomegaloviruses) since it contains regions of extensive internal homology yet does not undergo isomerization. Lastly, the relatively small size of the viral genome indicates an evolutionary diversification among the cytomegaloviruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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