We report here the nucleotide sequence of the L gene of avian pneumovirus (APV). This is the second pneumovirus L gene and the second avian paramyxovirus L gene, following that of Newcastle disease virus, to be sequenced. The APV L gene is 6099 nucleotides long and encodes a single large ORF of 2004 amino acids. This makes the APV L protein the smallest to be described for any non-segmented, negative-strand RNA virus. The protein contains six linear non-contiguous domains, a putative ATP-binding site and four polymerase motifs previously described for the L proteins of negative-strand RNA viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of domain III of 14 different L proteins suggests the pneumo-viruses to be as distant in evolutionary terms from the other members of the as are the .


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