Pseudorabies virus (PRV) is an animal alphaherpesvirus with a wide host range. PRV has 67 protein-coding genes and several non-coding RNA molecules, which can be classified into three temporal groups, immediate early, early and late classes. The ul54 gene of PRV and its homolog icp27 of herpes simplex virus have a multitude of functions, including the regulation of viral DNA synthesis and the control of the gene expression. Therefore, abrogation of PRV ul54 function was expected to exert a significant effect on the global transcriptome and on DNA replication. Real-time PCR and real-time RT-PCR platforms were used to investigate these presumed effects. Our analyses revealed a drastic impact of the ul54 mutation on the genome-wide expression of PRV genes, especially on the transcription of the true late genes. A more than two hour delay was observed in the onset of DNA replication, and the amount of synthesized DNA molecules was significantly decreased in comparison to the wild-type virus. Furthermore, in this work, we were able to successfully demonstrate the utility of long-read SMRT sequencing for genotyping of mutant viruses.
Journal: Archives of virology