A cloned egg drop syndrome (EDS) virus genomic DNA fragment containing the protease gene has been identified and the complete nucleotide sequence of the protease and partial nucleotide sequence of the hexon genes has been determined. Phylogenetic analysis of the protease gene has revealed EDS virus to be genetically more closely related to bovine adenovirus type 7 (BAV-7) and ovine adenovirus isolate 287 (OAV287) than either of these two viruses are to other members of the genus Mastadenovirus or EDS virus is to an other member of the Aviadenovirus genus. The three viruses share further similarities in that they have a high percentage AT content in their genome and are characterized by having more compact genomes than other adenoviruses. The protease gene from all three viruses contained the active site residues (H55-D72-C122 triad) and C104 (providing a disulfide bond to cofactor pVIc). However, P137, found in all other members of the Mastadenovirus genus, and thought to be involved in trafficking, was missing from the protease of the EDS virus, BAV-7, and OAV287. These results suggest that EDS virus should be classified along with BAV-7 and OAV287 in a separate taxon.
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