1887

Abstract

The unusual early synthesis of the M nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) budded virus (BV) structural protein GP64 is an important virulence factor during oral infection of larvae. Considering the breadth of the AcMNPV host range, the importance of early GP64 synthesis in orally infected permissive hosts ( and ) from subfamilies other than that of was assessed. An AcMNPV recombinant, having wild-type early and late GP64 synthesis, was compared with one in which only late GP64 synthesis occurred. Early GP64 synthesis was found to have more of an effect on virulence in orally inoculated than and that virulence was dependent on two factors: the ability of the host to slough occlusion-derived virus (ODV)-infected midgut cells and the rapidity with which BV was transmitted to the tracheal cells. In both host species, insects inoculated orally with the control virus transmitted BV to tracheal cells hours before those inoculated with the temporal mutant. Moreover, with early GP64 synthesis, the lag between the onset of viral gene expression in midgut and tracheal cells was only 3–4 h, supporting the conclusion that in these insects, the first systemic infections arose from ODV-derived nucleocapsids repackaged as BV. These results provide further empirical proof that early GP64 synthesis is a component of a unique and selectively advantageous baculovirus infection strategy for exploiting larval lepidopterans by counteracting developmental resistance.

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2004-04-01
2019-11-18
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