The causative agent of white spot syndrome (WSS) is a large double-stranded DNA virus, WSSV, which is probably a representative of a new genus, provisionally called Whispovirus. From previously constructed WSSV genomic libraries of a Taiwan WSSV isolate, clones with open reading frames (ORFs) that encode proteins with significant homology to the class I ribonucleotide reductase large (RR1) and small (RR2) subunits were identified. WSSV rr1 and rr2 potentially encode 848 and 413 amino acids, respectively. RNA was isolated from WSSV-infected shrimp at different times after infection and Northern blot analysis with rr1- and rr2-specific riboprobes found major transcripts of 2.8 and 1.4 kb, respectively. 5′ RACE showed that the major rr1 transcript started at a position of −84 (C) relative to the ATG translational start, while transcription of the rr2 gene started at nucleotide residue −68 (T). A consensus motif containing the transcriptional start sites for rr1 and rr2 was observed (TCAc/tTC). Northern blotting and RT-PCR showed that the transcription of rr1 and rr2 started 4–6 h after infection and continued for at least 60 h. The rr1 and rr2 genes thus appear to be WSSV "early genes."
Tsai, M. F., Lo, C. F., van Hulten, M. C. W., Tzeng, H. F., Chou, C. M., Huang, C. J., & Wang, C. S. (2000). Transcriptional analysis of the ribonucleotide reductase genes in shrimp white spot syndrome virus. Virology, 277, 92-99. https://doi.org/10.1006/viro.2000.0596