The p10 gene of Buzura suppressaria single-nucleocapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (BusuNPV) was identified by virtue of its localization downstream from the Autographa californica (Ac) MNPV p26 homologue. The BusuNPV p10 gene encodes a protein of 94 amino acids. The amino acid sequence contains domains characteristic of baculovirus P10 proteins, e.g. a coiled-coil domain, a proline-rich motif and a positively charged C terminus. The highest amino acid homologies were found with the Spodoptera littoralis (Spli) NPV and Spodoptera exigua (Se) MNPV P10 proteins. An AcMNPV recombinant expressing the BusuNPV P10 formed fibrillar structures in the cytoplasm of Spodoptera frugiperda cells. BusuNPV P10 could not fully replace AcMNPV P10 in its nuclear disintegration function, since polyhedra were not efficiently liberated from infected cells late in infection. The BusuNPV p26 gene encodes a protein of 263 amino acid residues with 70% amino acid similarity with SeMNPV P26. Downstream of the BusuNPV p10 gene, the gene for the occlusion-derived virus protein ODVP-6e is located. This is unlike the situation in many other NPVs, including SeMNPV, where the p10 gene neighbours the p74 gene. The data presented here suggest that although the p10 gene is not conserved in sequence, evolutionary pressure preserves the structure of P10 and hence its function. These data also indicate that all NPVs, MNPVs as well as SNPVs, contain this gene.


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