Canadian Forest Service Publications

Analysis of virion structural components reveals vestiges of the ancestral ichnovirus genome. 2010. Volkoff, A.N.; Jouan, V.; Urbach, S.; Samain, S.; Bergoin, M.; Wincker, P.; Demettre, E.; Cousserans, F.; Provost, B.; Coulibaly, F.; Legeai, F.; Béliveau, C.; Cusson, M.; Gyapay, G.; Drezen, J.M. PLoS Pathogens 6: 1-10.

Year: 2010

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31696

Language: English

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)


Many thousands of endoparasitic wasp species are known to inject polydnavirus (PDV) particles into their caterpillar host during oviposition, causing immune and developmental dysfunctions that benefit the wasp larva. PDVs associated with braconid and ichneumonid wasps, bracoviruses and ichnoviruses respectively, both deliver multiple circular dsDNA molecules to the caterpillar. These molecules contain virulence genes but lack core genes typically involved in particle production. This is not completely unexpected given that no PDV replication takes place in the caterpillar. Particle production is confined to the wasp ovary where viral DNAs are generated from proviral copies maintained within the wasp genome. We recently showed that the genes involved in bracovirus particle production reside within the wasp genome and are related to nudiviruses. In the present work we characterized genes involved in ichnovirus particle production by analyzing the components of purified Hyposoter didymator Ichnovirus particles by LC-MS/MS and studying their organization in the wasp genome. Their products are conserved among ichnovirus-associated wasps and constitute a specific set of proteins in the virosphere. Strikingly, these genes are clustered in specialized regions of the wasp genome which are amplified along with proviral DNA during virus particle replication, but are not packaged in the particles. Clearly our results show that ichnoviruses and bracoviruses particles originated from different viral entities, thus providing an example of convergent evolution where two groups of wasps have independently domesticated viruses to deliver genes into their hosts.

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