Purified DNAs from Marek's disease virus (MDV) and the herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) were randomly sheared and cloned into the M13 bacteriophage. Two-hundred and ten MDV and 130 HVT clones were sequenced to give representative samples of the genome sequences. The predicted amino acid sequences from these gammaherpesviruses were compared to known sequences from other herpesviruses using computer analysis. Thirty-five MDV and 24 HVT genes were identified by comparison with varicella-zoster virus (VZV), an alphaherpesvirus. However, only 14 MDV and seven HVT genes, giving generally lower homology scores, were found by comparison with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a gammaherpesvirus, indicating that MDV and HVT sequences bear greater similarity to VZV than to EBV sequences. A number of sequences were mapped by hybridizing labelled M13 clones to Southern blots of restriction fragments of MDV or HVT DNA. The results were consistent with the MDV and HVT genomes being collinear with VZV.


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