The nucleotide sequence of the phosphoprotein (P) gene of a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) isolate was determined. Like those of other morbilliviruses the DMV P gene encoded P and C proteins in overlapping open reading frames and V protein by editing the P gene transcript. Among P mRNA based clones the editing site variants GGGC, GGGG, GAGC and GGGGGGC predicting a P protein, and the variants GGGGC and GGGGG predicting a V protein, were found. Surprisingly, the three variants GGGC, GGGG and GAGC were also found among clones generated from genomic RNA of the DMV isolate. Thus, more than one viral genome type appeared to be present in cells infected with the DMV isolate. By a similar analysis of the virus genomes in the tissue from which the DMV isolate was obtained, only the GGGC type was found, indicating that the GGGG and GAGC types arose during adaptation of the virus to growth in cell cultures. No editing site variants likely to have arisen by editing the GAGC type were encountered, and it remains to be determined whether mRNA encoding V protein can be transcribed from genomes with this editing site. Using antisera raised against the common N terminus and unique C termini of the predicted P and V proteins, the expression of these proteins was demonstrated.


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