Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), a member of the , specifies two genomic double-stranded RNAs, segment A and segment B. Segment A encodes a 110 kDa polyprotein which is processed into virus proteins VP2, VP3 and VP4. A second open reading frame (ORF), designated ORF A-2, immediately preceding and partially overlapping the 110 kDa protein gene has also been described. After prokaryotic expression of this ORF and immunization of rabbits with the expressed protein we obtained reagents that allowed the identification of the ORF A-2 gene product in IBDV-infected cells. The ORF A-2 protein exhibits an apparent molecular mass of 21 kDa which is larger than the size of 16·5 kDa calculated from the deduced amino acid sequence. Immunofluorescence studies demonstrated the presence of the ORF A-2 protein in bursa samples from IBDV-infected chicken. In summary, the IBDV ORF A-2 product represents the fifth IBDV protein described. Therefore, we propose to designate it as IBDV VP5.


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