The viral and host factors involved in herpes simplex virus (HSV) recombination are little understood. To identify features of the process, recombination in HSV-1 and HSV-2 has been studied by analysing the segregation of unselected markers in the form of restriction endonuclease (RE) sites. By confining parental interactions to only one strain of virus of each serotype, restrictions imposed by non-homology are overcome and differential growth phenotypes can be discounted. The analysis of unselected and selected recombinants using RE sites in conjunction with temperature-sensitive mutations is consistent with (i) HSV being highly recombinogenic, (ii) parental and progeny molecules taking part in the process, (iii) the four genomic isomers participating in recombination, (iv) genome alignment being part of the recombination process and (v) cellular factors in conjunction with genome homology influencing the efficiency of recombination.


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