DNA-mediated transfer of a drug resistance marker (phosphonoacetate resistance for the HVMW (Towne) DNA polymerase (pol) gene has been used to genetically confirm the physical localization of the HCMV (Towne) DNA pol gene. The HCMV (Towne) genomic region homologous to the pol genes of other herpesviruses was first identified by moderate stringency Southern hybridization. Restriction fragments from this region were molecularly cloned from previously characterized phosphonoacetic acid resistant (PAAr)HCMV genomes (R. T. D'Aquila and W. C. Summers, J. Virol., 61. 1291-1295, 1987). A high frequency of recombinant PAAr virus was found among the progeny of cotransfections of infectious, wild-type HCMV (Towne) DNA only with pol-homologous restriction fragments cloned from PAAr HCMV. The co-transfection technique described here may facilitate further gene mapping in HCMV. The results presented here provide functional proof that the HCMV pol gene is encoded by the sequences previously identified as homologous to other herpesvirus pol genes.
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