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Viruses 2012, 4(1), 28-61; doi:10.3390/v4010028
Article

Analysis of the Genome of the Sexually Transmitted Insect Virus Helicoverpa zea Nudivirus 2

1,†,* , 1,†
, 2
, 2
, 2
, 2
 and 2
1 Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA 2 Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Greenport, NY 11944, USA The authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2011 / Revised: 30 December 2011 / Accepted: 31 December 2011 / Published: 6 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses)
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Abstract

The sexually transmitted insect virus Helicoverpa zea nudivirus 2 (HzNV-2) was determined to have a circular double-stranded DNA genome of 231,621 bp coding for an estimated 113 open reading frames (ORFs). HzNV-2 is most closely related to the nudiviruses, a sister group of the insect baculoviruses. Several putative ORFs that share homology with the baculovirus core genes were identified in the viral genome. However, HzNV-2 lacks several key genetic features of baculoviruses including the late transcriptional regulation factor, LEF-1 and the palindromic hrs, which serve as origins of replication. The HzNV-2 genome was found to code for three ORFs that had significant sequence homology to cellular genes which are not generally found in viral genomes. These included a presumed juvenile hormone esterase gene, a gene coding for a putative zinc-dependent matrix metalloprotease, and a major facilitator superfamily protein gene; all of which are believed to play a role in the cellular proliferation and the tissue hypertrophy observed in the malformation of reproductive organs observed in HzNV-2 infected corn earworm moths, Helicoverpa zea.
Keywords: nudivirus; sterile insects; baculovirus; sexually transmitted virus; virus genome; juvenile hormone esterase; HzNV-2; HzNV-1; corn earworm; Helicoverpa zea nudivirus; sterile insects; baculovirus; sexually transmitted virus; virus genome; juvenile hormone esterase; HzNV-2; HzNV-1; corn earworm; Helicoverpa zea
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Burand, J.P.; Kim, W.; Afonso, C.L.; Tulman, E.R.; Kutish, G.F.; Lu, Z.; Rock, D.L. Analysis of the Genome of the Sexually Transmitted Insect Virus Helicoverpa zea Nudivirus 2. Viruses 2012, 4, 28-61.

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