DNA from African swine fever (ASF) virus was isolated and was characterized by two restriction enzymes, I and RI. Although both enzymes can distinguish Vero cell-adapted ASF isolates by characteristic restriction endonuclease cleavage patterns, all ASF isolates examined exhibited a high degree of similarity, as measured by co-migration of most of the DNA fragments. The molecular weight of ASF DNA, based on size estimates of DNA fragments from cleavage patterns, ranged from 93 × 10 to 100 × 10. Virus genome heterogeneity was observed in uncloned, cell culture-adapted ASF isolates as well as in a plaque-purified virus after serial passage in Vero cells. In contrast to the rather minor differences in restriction pattern among the Vero cell-adapted isolates, a major alteration in restriction endonuclease cleavage sites was observed during adaptation of the wild-type virus to cell culture.


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