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Abstract / Zusammenfassung
Simian varicella virus (SVV) open reading frame (ORF) 63, duplicated in the virus genome as ORF 70, is homologous to varicella zoster virus ORF 63/70. Transfection of bacterial artificial chromosome clones containing the wild-type SVV genome and mutants with stop codons in ORF 70, in both ORFs 63 and 70 and the repaired virus DNA sequences into Vero cells produced a cytopathic effect (CPE). The onset of CPE was much slower with the double-mutant transfectants (10 days vs. 3 days) and plaques were smaller. While SVV ORF 63 is not required for replication in culture, its expression leads to robust virus replication.