cDNA clones of the largest RNA transcript of the canine distemper and measles morbilliviruses were characterized. This presumably codes for the L protein of these viruses. mRNA 4 was identified as coding for the haemagglutinin protein of measles virus. From an analysis of readthrough transcripts representing tandem copies of two or three genes we established a transcriptional map and the gene order on the negative strand genome of the morbilliviruses to be 3′-N-P+C-M-F-H-L-5′. The data exclude the presence of small intervening genes between the six major genes of morbilliviruses and indicate the gene order to be similar to that of Sendai virus and different from that of simian virus 5.

Keyword(s): CDV , gene order and measles virus

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