Canadian Forest Service Publications

Tranosema rostrale ichnovirus repeat element genes display distinct transcriptional patterns in caterpillar and wasp hosts. 2009. Rasoolizadeh, A.; Béliveau, C.; Stewart, D.; Cloutier, C.; Cusson, M. Journal of General Virology 90: 1505-1514.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 29548

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The endoparasitic wasp Tranosema rostrale transmits an ichnovirus to its lepidopteran host, Choristoneura fumiferana, during parasitization. As shown for other ichnoviruses, the segmented dsDNA genome of the T. rostrale ichnovirus (TrIV) features several multi-gene families, including the repeat element (rep) family, whose products display no known similarity to non-ichnovirus proteins, except for a homologue encoded by the genome of the Helicoverpa armigera 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 rep open reading frames (ORFs) in parasitized and virus-injected C. fumiferana larvae, as well as in T. rostrale ovaries and head–thorax complexes. Although transcripts were detected for most rep 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 rep genes in parasitized caterpillars were present in higher proportions than other repbearing genome segments in TrIV DNA, suggesting a possible role for gene dosage in the regulation of transcription level. TrIV rep 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 rep transcripts were detected in T. rostrale 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 rep genes have wasp-specific functions.