Fowl adenovirus 9 ORF19, a lipase homolog, is nonessential for virus replication and is suitable for foreign gene expression.


Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


Fowl adenovirus 9 (FAdV-9) has one of the largest genomes (45 kb) so far sequenced from all adenoviruses studied. Genus-specific genes located within the early (E) regions at the right and left ends of the viral genome have unknown functions except for ORF8 (Gam-1 gene), ORF22 and ORF1 (dUTPase gene). ORF19, located at the right end of the genome (nts 34,220-36,443), is predicted to encode a lipase protein and its homologs are also found in all FAdV genomes so far sequenced. The role of ORF19 in virus replication and virulence is unknown. To study ORF19 and explore its potential as a locus for foreign gene insertion, we generated one ORF19-deleted mutant virus (rFAdV-9Δ19-SwaI) and three FAdV-9Δ19-based recombinant viruses replacing ORF19 as follows: rFAdV-9Δ19-CAT and enhanced-green fluorescent protein (EGFP) cassette (CMV promoter-EGFP-poly A) in a rightward (rFAdV-9Δ19-EGFP-R) and leftward orientation (rFAdV-9Δ19-EGFP-L). All recombinant viruses were stable after three passages. In chicken hepatoma cells, rFAdV-9Δ19-SwaI, rFAdV-9Δ19-CAT and rFAdV-9Δ19-EGFP-R replicated at titers similar to that of the wild-type virus, whilst rFAdV-9Δ19-EGFP-L replicated at a much lower titer. Interestingly, FAdV-9Δ19-SwaI replicated at higher titers in cells and in embryonated eggs, respectively than those of wild-type and recombinant viruses. These observations suggest ORF19 is nonessential for replication and can be used as a novel cloning site for engineering FAdV-9-based recombinant viruses and rFAdV-9Δ19-SwaI could be used to determine its role for virus replication in vivo.


Enhanced green fluorescent protein expression,Fowl adenovirus 9 (FAdV-9),Lipase homolog,ORF19,Replication of ORF19 deleted viruses in embryonated chicken eggs,