We previously described the use of extended polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify contiguous 9.2-kilobase (kb) single-long terminal repeat (LTR) proviral sequences from HIV-1 genetic subtypes A through G. We now extend these findings by describing a novel vector system to recover infectious molecular clones from long PCR amplicons. Directional ligation of 9.2-kb proviral amplicons into a recovery vector reconstitutes missing LTR sequences, providing candidate molecular clones for infectivity screening. We show that a previously characterized infectious molecular clone of HIV-1 retains its biological properties upon recovery with this strategy. Three additional infectious molecular clones generated, from primary isolates of subtype B (HIV-1(WR237)) and circulating recombinant form 01-AE (subtype E) (HIV-1(CM235)) by subtype-specific LTR reconstitution, displayed biological properties reflecting their cognate parental isolates. This represents the first report of infectious molecular clones from circulating recombinant form 01-AE (subtype E). (C) 2000 Academic Press.