1887

Abstract

The Mediterranean lepidopteran pest is highly resistant to infection with the multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) via the oral route, but highly sensitive to infection with budded virus (BV) via the intrahaemocoelic route. To study the fate of AcMNPV infection in , vHSGFP, an AcMNPV recombinant that expresses the reporter green fluorescent protein gene under the control of the heat-shock promoter, and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy were utilized. fourth-instar larvae infected orally with vHSGFP showed melanization and encapsulation of virus-infected tracheoblast cells serving the midgut columnar cells. At 72 h post-infection, the viral foci were removed during the moult clearing the infection. Thus, oral infection was restricted by immune responses to the midgut and midgut-associated tracheal cells. By contrast, injection of BV into the haemocoel resulted in successful infection of tracheoblasts, followed by spread of the virus through the tracheal epidermis to other tissues. However, in contrast to fully permissive infections where tracheoblasts and haemocytes are equally susceptible to infection, a severe limitation to vHSGFP infection of haemocytes was observed. To investigate the resistance of haemocytes to BV infection with AcMNPV, the larval immune system was suppressed with the polydnavirus or a putatively immunosuppressive polydnavirus gene, . Both treatments increased the susceptibility of larvae to AcMNPV. It is concluded that the resistance of to AcMNPV infection involves both humoral and cellular immune responses that act at the gut and haemocyte levels. The results also support the hypothesis that tracheolar cells mediate establishment of systemic baculovirus infections in lepidopteran larvae. The finding that polydnaviruses and their encoded genes synergize baculovirus infection also provides an approach to dissecting the responses of the lepidopteran immune system to viruses by using specific polydnavirus immunosuppressive genes.

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2006-08-01
2019-11-13
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