Restriction mapping and the determination of scattered nucleotide sequences have permitted a description of the global structure and evolutionary affinities of the canine herpesvirus (CHV) genome. The global structure closely resembles that of the totally sequenced genomes of varicella-zoster virus and equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) in having a 37 bp inverted repeat flanking a long unique region (U) of approximately 100000 bp, and a 10100–10700 bp inverted repeat flanking a short unique region (U) of roughly 7400–8600 bp. On the basis of the sequences obtained, 35 homologues to previously identified herpesvirus gene products were found in U and the major inverted repeat, and the level of the similarities indicated that CHV belongs to the genus . Within the genus, CHV appears to be most closely related to EHV-1, pseudorabies virus and feline herpesvirus. Surprisingly, genes for both subunits of the viral ribonucleotide reductase were found to be missing from their equivalent place in other herpesvirus genomes. Either they have been translocated to another position in the CHV genome or, we think more likely, they have been lost.


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