We characterized the properties of herpes-type viruses which grew well in a Marek's disease lymphoblastoid cell line, MSB1-41C, inducing cytopathic effect characterized by the formation of syncytial giant cells. Examination of the infectious virus by field inversion gel electrophoresis revealed the presence of DNA of about 180 kbp in both the culture fluid and cell fractions of the infected MSB-41C cells. The DNA was found to consist of Marek's disease virus (MDV) serotype 2 (MDV2) and MDV serotype 1 (MDV1) DNA by Southern blot hybridization. The MDV1 DNA consisted of sequences mainly from the long inverted repeats including multiple copies of 132 bp direct tandem repeats. Molecular cloning of BamHI digests of the MDV2 DNA revealed a fragment of MDV1 DNA and MDV2 DNA fused together, indicating that the recombinant MDV2 DNA had been generated by genetic recombination with the latent MDV1 DNA.
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