Characterization of the Genome of Feline Herpesvirus-1 with Emphasis on the Unique Short Segment
Feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV -1) is a herpesvirus of cats which causes a disease known as Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR). The physical characteristics of this disease have been widely described, but very little work has been done on the viral DNA. In the present study, The FHV -1 genome was characterized by using restriction enzymes, primarily Sail, to cut the DNA into smaller and more workable pieces that were cloned into the plasmids pBR322 and pUC19. Plasmids were transformed into competent Escherichia coli cells to propagate enough plasmid to work with and to characterize. The result was a collection of plasmids that together contained the majority of Sall-cut FHV -1 fragments. A restriction map was constructed of a plasmid containing one of the fragments, SaIl B (Rota, Maes, and Ruyechan, 1986). This fragment contains a section of the genome known as the Unique short (Us), which has been shown in other herpesviruses to contain glycoprotein genes and other genes that are essential for virulence, but are not necessary for virus replication. In addition, the gene coding for thymidine kinase (TK) was searched for by transforming various SaIl fragment-containing plasmids into L TKcells which are incapable of salvaging thymidine from medium. No evidence was obtained to indicate that any fragment of FVR DNA is capable of transforming L TK- cells to a TK+ phenotype.
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