Canadian Forest Service Publications

Evidence for a conserved polydnavirus gene family: ichnovirus homologs of the CsIV repeat element genes. 2002. Volkoff, A.N.; Béliveau, C.; Rocher, J.; Hilgarth, R.; Levasseur, A.; Duonor-Cérutti, M.; Cusson, M.; Webb, B.A. Virology 300: 316-331.

Year: 2002

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 22516

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Mark record


In Campoletis sonorensis Ichnovirus (CsIV), the repeat element genes constitute a gene family of 28 members. In the present work, we document the presence of members of this gene family in two additional ichnoviruses, Hyposoter didymator Ichnovirus (HdIV) and Tranosema rostrale Ichnovirus (TrIV). Two repeat element genes, representing at least one functional gene, were identified in TrIV, whereas HdIV was found to contain at least three such genes. In both HdIV and TrIV, the known repeat element genes are encoded on single genome segments, with hybridization studies suggesting the presence of other, related but as yet uncharacterized genes. The HdIV and TrIV repeat element genes are all transcribed in infected caterpillars, although differences exist among genes in levels and in tissue specificity of expression. A heuristic tree was generated indicating that the repeat element genes are more similar within a species of wasp than between species, with TrIV genes being more closely related to the CsIV than to the HdIV genes. These results suggest that the most significant duplication, divergence, and expansion of the repeat element genes occurred after speciation. The finding that repeat element genes form an interspecific family within the genus Ichnovirus supports the view that the proteins they encode play an important role in ichnovirus biology.