We have extended previous comparisons of genetic organization between poxvirus genera by sequencing a 2.5K genomic fragment from isolate KS-1 (Kenya sheep-1) of the genus capripoxvirus. The fragment is located in the central region of the capripoxvirus genome and contains three complete and two incomplete open reading frames (ORFs). One of the complete ORFs is a gene for thymidine kinase (TK). This gene, with one of the other two complete ORFs and both the incomplete ORFs, are homologous to four contiguous ORFs from the central region of vaccinia virus (VV) DNA. They also match four ORFs of fowlpox virus (FPV) DNA, three of which are contiguous and the fourth, the FPV TK gene, is located elsewhere on the FPV genome. The third complete ORF of the capripoxvirus DNA fragment is located between the TK gene and the capripoxvirus homologue of the ORF immediately downstream of the VV TK gene. We show that a homologue to this third ORF is absent from VV and FPV DNAs, but is present downstream of the TK gene on Shope fibroma virus DNA. The sequence immediately upstream of the capripoxvirus homologue of a VV late gene contains a motif which is required for VV late gene expression. The motif required for VV early gene transcription termination is present in eight positions in the capripoxvirus sequence, and five of these positions are consistent with the motif having an equivalent function in capripoxvirus to that in VV.


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