Two independent cDNA clones, identified as representing the mRNA of the nucleocapsid protein gene of peste-des-petits-ruminants virus, were sequenced. The longest insert was 1662 nucleotides, not counting the poly(A) tail, and it was estimated that about 21 nucleotides were missing from the complete gene sequence. The sequence contained one long open reading frame encoding a protein of 525 amino acids with a predicted relative molecular mass of 58008. Comparisons of the nucleic acid and protein sequences of all the morbillivirus nucleoproteins so far determined indicated two major subgroups in the morbillivirus genus of the : one group included canine and phocine distemper viruses, and the other rinderpest, measles and peste-des-petits-ruminants viruses. Peste-des-petits-ruminants virus was found to be slightly more related to canine and phocine distemper viruses than were measles and rinderpest viruses.


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