In the process of generating an insertional mutant of herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) expressing at the protein kinase (PK) locus, we isolated a recombinant which contained an intact PK gene but the short unique regions US1, US10 and SORF3 had been deleted and replaced by the cassette. Moreover, the virus contained duplicate copies of gD, gI and gE in an opposite orientation flanking , US2 and PK which were contiguous. These results are of interest in relation to the flexibility of the short unique segment (U) and of the inverted repeats flanking U of the alpha-herpesviruses. The recombinant expressed β-galactosidase and was genetically stable and . Chickens inoculated with the virus developed antibodies to HVT antigens and to β-galactosidase but the replication of the recombinant was impaired in comparison to parental HVT as shown by a reduction in the proportion of infected lymphocytes.


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