The nucleotide sequence of an 11·2 kilobase fragment of the fowlpox virus genome is presented. The fragment comes from near one end of the genome and contains part of the terminal inverted repeat. Twenty open reading frames (ORFs) are predicted from the sequence and are classified into 13 major and seven minor ORFs. The 100 base pairs immediately upstream of each ORF are up to 83% AT-rich, with some motifs similar to those seen in vaccinia virus early gene promoters. The TTTTTNT element which has been identified as a termination signal for vaccinia virus early genes is also found downstream of several ORFs. Three ORFs are predicted to specify polypeptides with significant homology to proteins coded by genes near termini of orthopoxvirus genomes: the vaccinia virus 42K early gene and 32·5K host range gene, and the cowpox virus 38K red pock gene. In addition, there are two families of ORFs within the fragment which potentially encode related polypeptides. One of these, family B, contains three ORFs which are related to those of chicken and rat hepatic lectins.


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