The of nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) () is conserved in all completely sequenced lepidopteran nucleopolyhedroviruses. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that is an early and late transcribed gene that is initiated at 3 h post-infection, and immunofluorescence microscopy showed that Bm9 is localized mainly in the cytoplasm of infected cells. To determine the role of Bm9 during virus infection, was knocked out by recombination in a BmNPV genome propagated as a bacmid in . The budded virus (BV) production of -deleted bacmids was reduced more than 10-fold compared with wild-type (wt) bacmid; however, the kinetics of viral DNA replication were unaffected. The defect in BV production was recovered by the rescue bacmid. In addition, electron microscope observations revealed that polyhedra formation was not affected by the deletion of . Bioassays showed that the -deleted bacmid took approximately 14–22 h longer to kill fifth instar larvae than wt bacmid, and the LD was about 15 times higher than that of the wt bacmid. In conclusion, Bm9 is an important but not essential factor in virus production and infectivity and


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