A dIII cleavage map of the genome DNA of a new isolate of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), strain Tanaka, was constructed by cosmid cloning and Southern blot hybridization of virion DNA. The genome was found to be unique in that its long (L) component was composed of two subsegments, L1 and L2, and subsegment L2 underwent inversion relative to L1 at high frequency. In addition to the normal inversions of the L and short (S) components, this produced eight genome isomers. The novel invertible subsegment was flanked by an inverted sequence distinct from the inversion-specific sequence present in the terminal and junction regions of the genome.


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