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Special Issue "Insect Viruses"

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A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2011)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Dawn Gundersen-Rindal

USDA Agricultural Research Service, Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory, Bldg. 011A, Rm. 214, BARC-West, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 301 5045104
Guest Editor
Dr. Robert L. Harrison

USDA Agricultural Research Service, Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory, Building 011A, Room 214, BARC-West, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
E-Mail
Phone: 1-301-504-5249
Fax: +1 301 504 5104

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Insects are the most numerous and diverse animals on the planet, and are attacked by a correspondingly wide variety of microorganisms.  This special issue of Viruses covers research on viruses that infect insects. Insect viruses have been the subject of basic research in virology and molecular biology and have been evaluated and deployed as safe, environmentally friendly means of controlling insect pests.  The largest and most studied group of insect viruses, the baculoviruses, has been developed into expression vectors that serve as invaluable tools for laboratory research and the production of vaccines and pharmaceuticals, and are currently being assessed as potential gene therapy vectors.  At the same time, insect viruses pose a significant threat to beneficial insects of great value, such as bees and silkworm moths.  The collection of reviews and original research papers in this special issue is intended to summarize and showcase current research on the diversity of viruses that are pathogenic for insects.

Dr. Dawn Gundersen-Rindal
Dr. Robert L. Harrison
Guest Editor

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Genome of the Sexually Transmitted Insect Virus Helicoverpa zea Nudivirus 2
Viruses 2012, 4(1), 28-61; doi:10.3390/v4010028
Received: 29 November 2011 / Revised: 30 December 2011 / Accepted: 31 December 2011 / Published: 6 January 2012
Cited by 11
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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses)
Open AccessArticle Dynamics of Persistent and Acute Deformed Wing Virus Infections in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera
Viruses 2011, 3(12), 2425-2441; doi:10.3390/v3122425
Received: 16 November 2011 / Revised: 28 November 2011 / Accepted: 29 November 2011 / Published: 14 December 2011
Cited by 28
Abstract
The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed wing virus (DWV) as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health
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The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed wing virus (DWV) as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health conditions in dynamics of virus replication in honey bees. The results showed that temperature decline could lead to not only significant decrease in the rate for pupae to emerge as adult bees, but also an increased severity of the virus infection in emerged bees, partly explaining the high levels of winter losses of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, around the world. By experimentally exposing adult bees with variable levels of parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we showed that the severity of DWV infection was positively correlated with the density and time period of Varroa mite infestation, confirming the role of Varroa mites in virus transmission and activation in honey bees. Further, we showed that host conditions have a significant impact on the outcome of DWV infection as bees that originate from strong colonies resist DWV infection and replication significantly better than bee originating from weak colonies. The information obtained from this study has important implications for enhancing our understanding of host‑pathogen interactions and can be used to develop effective disease control strategies for honey bees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses)
Open AccessArticle The Lymantria dispar IPLB-Ld652Y Cell Line Transcriptome Comprises Diverse Virus-Associated Transcripts
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2339-2350; doi:10.3390/v3112339
Received: 30 September 2011 / Revised: 12 November 2011 / Accepted: 14 November 2011 / Published: 21 November 2011
Cited by 10
Abstract
The enhanced viral susceptibility of the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)-derived IPLB-Ld652Y cell line has made it a popular in vitro system for studying virus-related phenomena in the Lepidoptera. Using both single-pass EST sequencing and 454-based pyrosequencing, a transcriptomic library of 14,368
[...] Read more.
The enhanced viral susceptibility of the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)-derived IPLB-Ld652Y cell line has made it a popular in vitro system for studying virus-related phenomena in the Lepidoptera. Using both single-pass EST sequencing and 454-based pyrosequencing, a transcriptomic library of 14,368 putatively unique transcripts (PUTs) was produced comprising 8,476,050 high-quality, informative bases. The gene content of the IPLB-Ld652Y transcriptome was broadly assessed via comparison with the NCBI non‑redundant protein database, and more detailed functional annotation was inferred by comparison to the Swiss-Prot subset of UniProtKB. In addition to L. dispar cellular transcripts, a diverse array of both RNA and DNA virus-associated transcripts was identified within the dataset, suggestive of a high level of viral expression and activity in IPLB-Ld652Y cells. These sequence resources will provide a sound basis for developing testable experimental hypotheses by insect virologists, and suggest a number of avenues for potential research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses)
Open AccessArticle Complete Sequence, Analysis and Organization of the Orgyia leucostigma Nucleopolyhedrovirus Genome
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2301-2327; doi:10.3390/v3112301
Received: 23 August 2011 / Revised: 25 October 2011 / Accepted: 25 October 2011 / Published: 15 November 2011
Cited by 7
Abstract
The complete genome of the Orgyia leucostigma nucleopolyhedrovirus (OrleNPV) isolated from the whitemarked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma, Lymantridae: Lepidoptera) was sequenced, analyzed, and compared to other baculovirus genomes. The size of the OrleNPV genome was 156,179 base pairs (bp) and had
[...] Read more.
The complete genome of the Orgyia leucostigma nucleopolyhedrovirus (OrleNPV) isolated from the whitemarked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma, Lymantridae: Lepidoptera) was sequenced, analyzed, and compared to other baculovirus genomes. The size of the OrleNPV genome was 156,179 base pairs (bp) and had a G+C content of 39%. The genome encoded 135 putative open reading frames (ORFs), which occupied 79% of the entire genome sequence. Three inhibitor of apoptosis (ORFs 16, 43 and 63), and five baculovirus repeated ORFs (bro-a through bro-e) were interspersed in the OrleNPV genome. In addition to six direct repeat (drs), a common feature shared among most baculoviruses, OrleNPV genome contained three homologous regions (hrs) that are located in the latter half of the genome. The presence of an F-protein homologue and the results from phylogenetic analyses placed OrleNPV in the genus Alphabaculovirus, group II. Overall, OrleNPV appears to be most closely related to group II alphabaculoviruses Ectropis obliqua (EcobNPV), Apocheima cinerarium (ApciNPV), Euproctis pseudoconspersa (EupsNPV), and Clanis bilineata (ClbiNPV). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses)
Open AccessArticle Baculovirus Induced Transcripts in Hemocytes from the Larvae of Heliothis virescens
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2047-2064; doi:10.3390/v3112047
Received: 2 September 2011 / Revised: 19 October 2011 / Accepted: 19 October 2011 / Published: 28 October 2011
Cited by 20
Abstract
Using RNA-seq digital difference expression profiling methods, we have assessed the gene expression profiles of hemocytes harvested from Heliothis virescens that were challenged with Helicoverpa zea single nucleopolyhedrovirus (HzSNPV). A reference transcriptome of hemocyte-expressed transcripts was assembled from 202 million 42-base tags by combining the
[...] Read more.
Using RNA-seq digital difference expression profiling methods, we have assessed the gene expression profiles of hemocytes harvested from Heliothis virescens that were challenged with Helicoverpa zea single nucleopolyhedrovirus (HzSNPV). A reference transcriptome of hemocyte-expressed transcripts was assembled from 202 million 42-base tags by combining the sequence data of all samples, and the assembled sequences were then subject to BLASTx analysis to determine gene identities. We used the fully sequenced HzSNPV reference genome to align 477,264 Illumina sequence tags from infected hemocytes in order to document expression of HzSNPV genes at early points during infection. A comparison of expression profiles of control insects to those lethally infected with HzSNPV revealed differential expression of key cellular stress response genes and genes involved in lipid metabolism. Transcriptional regulation of specific insect hormones in baculovirus-infected insects was also altered. A number of transcripts bearing homology to retroviral elements that were detected add to a growing body of evidence for extensive invasion of errantiviruses into the insect genome. Using this method, we completed the first and most comprehensive gene expression survey of both baculoviral infection and host immune defense in lepidopteran larvae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Biology and Genomics of Viruses Within the Genus Gammabaculovirus
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2214-2222; doi:10.3390/v3112214
Received: 1 October 2011 / Revised: 26 October 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 10 November 2011
Cited by 3
Abstract
Hymenoptera is a very large and ancient insect order encompassing bees, wasps, ants and sawflies. Fossil records indicate that they existed over 200 million years ago and about 100 million years before the appearance of Lepidoptera. Sawflies have been major pests in
[...] Read more.
Hymenoptera is a very large and ancient insect order encompassing bees, wasps, ants and sawflies. Fossil records indicate that they existed over 200 million years ago and about 100 million years before the appearance of Lepidoptera. Sawflies have been major pests in many parts of the world and some have caused serious forest defoliation in North America. All baculoviruses isolated from sawflies are of the single nucleocapsids phenotype and appear to replicate in midgut cells only. This group of viruses has been shown to be excellent pest control agents and three have been registered in Canada and Britain for this purpose. Sawfly baculoviruses contain the smallest genome of all baculoviruses sequenced so far. Gene orders among sequenced sawfly baculoviruses are co-linear but this is not shared with the genomes of lepidopteran baculoviruses. One distinguishing feature among all sequenced sawfly viruses is the lack of a gene encoding a membrane fusion protein, which brought into question the role of the budded virus phenotype in Gammabaculovirus biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses)
Open AccessReview Next Generation Sequencing Technologies for Insect Virus Discovery
Viruses 2011, 3(10), 1849-1869; doi:10.3390/v3101849
Received: 2 September 2011 / Revised: 15 September 2011 / Accepted: 19 September 2011 / Published: 10 October 2011
Cited by 35
Abstract
Insects are commonly infected with multiple viruses including those that cause sublethal, asymptomatic, and latent infections. Traditional methods for virus isolation typically lack the sensitivity required for detection of such viruses that are present at low abundance. In this respect, next generation sequencing
[...] Read more.
Insects are commonly infected with multiple viruses including those that cause sublethal, asymptomatic, and latent infections. Traditional methods for virus isolation typically lack the sensitivity required for detection of such viruses that are present at low abundance. In this respect, next generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized methods for the discovery and identification of new viruses from insects. Here we review both traditional and modern methods for virus discovery, and outline analysis of transcriptome and small RNA data for identification of viral sequences. We will introduce methods for de novo assembly of viral sequences, identification of potential viral sequences from BLAST data, and bioinformatics for generating full-length or near full-length viral genome sequences. We will also discuss implications of the ubiquity of viruses in insects and in insect cell lines. All of the methods described in this article can also apply to the discovery of viruses in other organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses)

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