The genome of Heliothis armigera entomopoxvirus (HaEPV) has been mapped with four restriction endonuclease enzymes (BamHI, HindIII, PstI and XhoI), and its length estimated at 233 kbp. An EcoRI-generated HaEPV genomic fragment hybridized to all fragments identified as genomic termini, providing the first experimental evidence for the presence of terminal repeat elements in an EPV genome. The HaEPV spheroidin and nucleoside triphosphate phosphohydrolase I (NPHI) genes have been cloned and sequenced, and their deduced products shown to possess high levels of identity with homologues from other Genus B entomopoxviruses (EPVs). The genomic locations of these and other HaEPV genes and open reading frames have been determined; comparison of their locations with those of homologues in the Amsacta moorei EPV genome largely supports an hypothesis that the Genus B EPVs share a conserved genomic organization which differs from that of chordopoxviruses. It is proposed that genes of EPVs can be assigned to five actual or predicted homology-based groups, a categorization which is useful for directing and interpreting investigations of EPV gene functions and relationships.


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