The genome of bovine cytomegalovirus (BCMV) strain 66-P-347 consists of double-stranded, linear DNA with a size of 144 ± 6 kb. It contains polyrepetitive DNA (prDNA) segments like five other BCMV strains. The restriction patterns of the prDNA of all six strains are very similar and indicate that monomeric prDNA units are either 1950 bp (class I and Ia), 2350 bp (class II) or 2750 bp (class III) in size. The complete unit sequence of strain 66-P-347 (class II) was cloned in bacteriophage vector M13mp7 and mapped by the restriction enzymes RI, HI, I, I, II and I. From these results the restriction maps of the prDNA of the other five strains were deduced. The 400 bp differences in size between the three prDNA classes are a consequence of the appearance of an internal 200 bp sequence being present one-, three- or fivefold in head-to-tail formation. Hybridization of S-labelled recombinant phage DNA to Southern blots with DNA of the different strains leads to the conclusion that prDNA units are present as multimers in tandem formation at both genomic termini in the same orientation. The number of terminal repeat units varies between individual molecules of a strain, but the actual terminal sequences are identical.


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