1887

Abstract

polydnavirus (GiPDV) is essential for successful parasitization of the larval stage of the lepidopteran (gypsy moth) by the endoparasitic wasp . This virus has not been characterized previously. Ultrastructural studies of GiPDV showed that virions had a rod-like or rectangular form and each contained as many as ten nucleocapsids enclosed by a single unit membrane envelope. Field inversion gel electrophoresis (FIGE) analysis of the virus genomic DNA revealed that GiPDV had a segmented genome composed of 13 dsDNA segments, ranging in size from approximately 11 kb to more than 30 kb. Four genomic segments were present in higher molar concentration than the others. Further characterization of the GiPDV genome yielded several cDNA clones which derived from GiPDV-specific mRNAs, and Northern blot analysis confirmed expression of isolated cDNA clones in the parasitized host. Each was present on more than one GiPDV genomic DNA segment, suggesting the existence of related sequences among DNA segments. It has been proposed previously that in polydnavirus systems, genome segmentation, hypermolar ratio segments and segment nesting may function to increase the copy number of essential genes and to increase the levels of gene expression in the absence of virus replication. The present data support this notion and suggest that GiPDV morphology and genomic organization may be intrinsically linked to the function and evolutionary strategies of the virus.

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2003-08-01
2021-01-19
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