Sequence analysis of the I g, h, i and j restriction fragments of the African swine fever virus (ASFV) genome from the virulent isolate Malawi (LIL20/1) identified three open reading frames (ORFs) encoding predicted proteins of 125.0K (g10L), 80.4K (j10L) and 58.0K (j11L) which showed homology to members of the DNA and RNA helicase superfamily. ORF j10L was related to protein 4 of the killer plasmid pKG12 and to two putative helicases, D6R and D11L, of vaccinia virus. ORF g10L was most closely related to ASFV j10L and to vaccinia virus D11L. ORF j11L was homologous to A18R, a third putative helicase of vaccinia virus. The possible functions of these genes in the replication of ASFV are discussed and the evolutionary implications are considered.


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