The Diadromus pulchellus ascovirus (DpAV) has been isolated from laboratory strains of Diadromus pulchellus and in natural wild populations collected from the Antibes locality (southern France). The DpAV genome was found in the cells of the head, thorax and abdomen of this hymenopteran wasp. DpAV virions are present in the female genitalia and are transmitted to the nymphal lepidopteran host, Acrolepiopsis assectella, at each oviposition of the female wasp. The presence of the DpAV genome in all Diadromus somatic cells suggests that it is inherited by vertical transmission. DpAV is amplified in the host tissues during the larval development of D. pulchellus in A. assectella. Cell lysis due to amplification of the virus does not prevent the development of the hymenopteran larva. Virus amplification appears to be slower in nymphs parasitized by D. pulchellus than in nymphs artificially infected with DpAV alone. Lysis of the nymphal cells due to viral replication seems to be synchronous with egg hatching and the development of the hymenopteran larva. The features of DpAV and its relationship with the parasitoid wasp D. pulchellus during its development are compared to those of the ichnoviruses.


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