Novel Gene Uncovered in Marek's Disease Virus

Recent work by at Sichuan Agricultural University has revealed a novel gene in Marek's disease virus type CVI988.
calendar icon 15 December 2010
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In their paper in Virology Journal, Mingxing Tian and colleagues explain that Marek's disease is a highly contagious disease of poultry characterised by rapid-on set of T-cell lymphomas, which is caused by Marek's disease virus (MDV) but its pathogenic mechanism is still not very clear.

Recently, some new progress were achieved in molecular character of MDV.

Along with the genomic sequencing of MDV serotype 1, some novel open reading frames (ORFs) were predicted, and ORF72.2 was one of them which have no homologues in other MDV serotypes or in other alpha-herpesvirus.

In their study, ORF72.2 was firstly identified as a protein-coding gene by the method of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), western blotting and indirect immunofluorescence assay.

This study paved the way to conduct further studies to determine whether ORF72.2 plays a role in MDV replication and pathogenicity, conlcude Tian and colleagues.


Tian M., Y. Zhao, M. Shi, Y. Lin, N. Zou, P. Liu, X. Wen, S. Cao and Y. Huang. 2010. A novel protein-coding ORF72.2 gene was identified from Marek's disease virus strain CVI988. Virology Journal, 7:371. doi:10.1186/1743-422X-7-371.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (as a provisional PDF) by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Marek's disease by clicking here.

December 2010
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