The closely related lipid-containing bacteriophages PRD1, PR4, PR5, PR722 and L17 isolated from different parts of the world have double-stranded DNA genomes which replicate in a linear form. The nucleotide (nt) sequences of the genome termini of these viruses reveal 110-111-bp-long inverted terminal repeats (ITRs). Both ends of the viral DNA are identical. The first 18 bp and the last 35 bp of the ITRs are totally conserved in all viruses. Between these conserved nt sequences there is a variable sequence, which enables us to divide the phages into two groups. Comparison of the virus ITRs led also to the identification of a 10-bp-long A + T stretch, where the only changes observed were transversions between A and T. The termini of the PRD1 virus family genomes exhibit sequence similarities to those of phi 29 and Cp-1 families.