The replication origin of Marek's disease virus (MDV) type 1 was analysed by using a transient replication assay with plasmids containing various fragments of MDV strain Md5 genomic DNA. Plasmid pMBH, containing the BamHI-H fragment, showed replication activity in MDV-infected chicken embryonic fibroblasts (CEF). By deletion analysis of pMBH, two regions, the promoter-enhancer region of the MDV pp38 gene and the 132 bp tandem direct repeat, were shown to be required for replication activity. Replication of pMBH was not observed in uninfected CEF, suggesting that a trans-acting factor(s) encoded by the MDV genome was necessary for replication.


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