Rat cytomegalovirus (RCMV) DNA was cleaved by restriction endonuclease RI into 24 fragments ranging in mol. wt. from 34 × 10 to 0.20 × 10, of which 18 fragments could be cloned in plasmid pACYC 184. Restriction endonuclease I cleaved the RCMV genome into 28 fragments, ranging in size from 44 × 10 to 0·81 × 10, of which 24 fragments were cloned in plasmid pSP62-PL. Among the restriction fragments that could not be cloned were two major terminal colinear fragments, RI-A (34 × 10) and I-A (44 × 10). Thus, the complete sets of recombinant plasmids spanned about 70% of the RCMV genome. Our mapping results including determination of the termini of the genome, characterization of double digestion products of restriction fragments and cross-hybridization of S-labelled (cloned) RI and I fragments to Southern blots of RI-, I- or II-cleaved RCMV DNA, allowed us to construct the RI and I restriction maps of RCMV DNA. Since no cross-hybridization between internal fragments was seen, it is concluded that the RCMV genome consists of a long unique sequence of 224 kilobases without internal inverted repeat sequences, which is similar to the structures of murine and guinea-pig CMV DNA but unlike that of human CMV DNA. In a minor population (approx. 20%) of the RCMV DNA, one terminus was found to be larger by 0.35 × 10 mol. wt. The nature of this fragment is unclear at the moment.

Keyword(s): cytomegalovirus , genome and RCMV

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