, Volume 149, Issue 3, pp 553-570
Date: 04 Nov 2003

Sequence mapping of the Californian MSW strain of Myxoma virus

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Partial sequence mapping of the MSW Californian strain of Myxoma virus was performed by cloning EcoRI and SalI restriction fragments of viral DNA and sequencing the ends of these. In this way, regions of 74 MSW open reading frames were sequenced and mapped onto the complete genome sequences of the related leporipoxviruses South American Myxoma virus and Rabbit fibroma virus to form a partial map of the MSW strain. In general, gene locations and sequences were conserved between the three viruses. However the Californian Myxoma virus was more closely related to South American myxoma virus than to Rabbit fibroma virus based on sequence comparisons and the presence of three genes that have been lost from the Rabbit fibroma virus genome. Compared to the other two viruses, the main difference found in the MSW genome was that the terminal inverted repeats were extended with the duplication of 5 complete open reading frames (M151R, M152R, M153R, M154L, M156R) and partial duplication of one open reading frame (M150R). This rearrangement was associated with the loss of the majority of the M009L open reading frame. Three known virulence genes, including the serine proteinase inhibitor (SERPIN) genes M151R and M152R and leukemia associated protein (LAP) gene M153R, and the potential virulence gene M156R are now present in two copies.