The use of T RNase fingerprinting of terminally labelled genomic double-stranded RNA species from various rotavirus isolates, to analyse the near terminal G-residue positions, has revealed an RNA species-specific fingerprint pattern covering approximately 40 nucleotides at the termini. These RNA species-specific terminal fingerprint patterns were found to be conserved in both rotavirus RNAs isolated from various animal species, and in isolates from a single animal species where gross divergence of internal RNA sequence for a particular RNA species was evident. This conservation of near terminal G-residue positions suggests that, internal to the short regions of absolute terminal sequence conservation that we have previously shown to be present on all rotavirus RNA species, there is a region of conserved sequence which is specific for a particular RNA species.


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