DNA isolated from defective and nondefective virions of herpes simplex type I (HSV-1) (strain Patton) was digested with restriction endonucleases, and the resulting DNA fragments were inserted in the EK2 coliphage vector λgtWES·λB. The recombinant DNA was encapsidated in vitro under P4 maximum containment conditions. These λ-HSV1 hybrids were purified and amplified, and the DNA was isolated in the P4 facility. DNA, free of viable phage and bacteria, was removed from P4 conditions and analyzed. Represented among the hybrids studied to date are DNA fragments from about 50 percent of the normal HSV-1 genome. The hybrids derived from defective HSV-1 DNA fragments demonstrate the existence of many similar but not identical classes of defective genomes.
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