The open reading frame (ORF) 126 () of nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) is a homologue of and belongs to the baculovirus 11K protein family. was amplified from BmNPVs isolated from five different regions of China. Sequence analysis showed that the isolates had two different subtypes of , and , and both were different from that of the BmNPV T3 isolate. All of the BM126 ORFs contained a hydrophobic N terminus and a C6 motif at their C terminus, but the sequence between the N terminus and C6 motif varied in each isolate. The function of was studied using bacmid BmBacJS13 derived from a BmNPV containing . A 3′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends showed that the transcript of was first detected at 6 h post-infection. A -knockout bacmid was constructed in which the majority of the coding region of was deleted. Subsequently, the gene was repaired with or and tested for infectivity. The deletion of had no obvious effect on the budded virus growth curve and the mean lethal dose of the occlusion bodies (OBs); however, the mean survival time of the larvae infected with -null virus was significantly delayed compared with that of the control virus. The delay was rescued by repairing the deletion with but not with . In addition, the virus repaired with showed a significant increase in OB yield, both and .


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