1887

Abstract

The endoparasitic wasp transmits an ichnovirus to its lepidopteran host, , during parasitization. As shown for other ichnoviruses, the segmented dsDNA genome of the ichnovirus (TrIV) features several multi-gene families, including the repeat element () family, whose products display no known similarity to non-ichnovirus proteins, except for a homologue encoded by the genome of the granulovirus; their functions remain unknown. This study applied linear regression of efficiency analysis to real-time PCR quantification of transcript abundance for all 17 TrIV open reading frames (ORFs) in parasitized and virus-injected larvae, as well as in ovaries and head–thorax complexes. Although transcripts were detected for most ORFs in infected caterpillars, two of them clearly outnumbered the others in whole larvae, with a tendency for levels to drop over time after infection. The genome segments bearing the three most highly expressed genes in parasitized caterpillars were present in higher proportions than other -bearing genome segments in TrIV DNA, suggesting a possible role for gene dosage in the regulation of transcription level. TrIV genes also showed important differences in the relative abundance of their transcripts in specific tissues (cuticular epithelium, the fat body, haemocytes and the midgut), implying tissue-specific roles for individual members of this gene family. Significantly, no transcripts were detected in head–thorax complexes, whereas some were abundant in ovaries. There, the transcription pattern was completely different from that observed in infected caterpillars, suggesting that some genes have wasp-specific functions.

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2009-06-01
2019-11-20
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