The nucleocapsid (N) and polymerase (L) genes of the vaccine strain of rinderpest, and the 5′ and 3′ terminal domains of the genome have been sequenced. Together with previously published data, this completes the sequence of the entire genome of rinderpest virus. The viral genome is 15 881 bases in length, similar to that of measles virus and slightly longer than that of canine distemper virus. The L gene is identical in length to that of measles virus, encoding a 2183 amino acid protein with a calculated of 248 100. The L protein sequence of morbilliviruses is highly conserved, more than 75% of residues being identical or conserved in all three sequences currently available. The N protein was, as for the other sequenced genes where comparison is possible, essentially identical to that of the virulent parent. In addition, we have determined the terminal sequences of two virulent strains of rinderpest and compared the sequences of virulent and non-virulent strains.


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