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Insects 2012, 3(1), 91-119;

Polydnaviruses of Parasitic Wasps: Domestication of Viruses To Act as Gene Delivery Vectors

Department of Entomology, The University of Georgia, 120 Cedar St., Athens, GA 30601, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 November 2011 / Revised: 7 January 2012 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 31 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symbiosis: A Source of Evolutionary Innovation in Insects)
PDF [541 KB, uploaded 31 January 2012]


Symbiosis is a common phenomenon in which associated organisms can cooperate in ways that increase their ability to survive, reproduce, or utilize hostile environments. Here, we discuss polydnavirus symbionts of parasitic wasps. These viruses are novel in two ways: (1) they have become non-autonomous domesticated entities that cannot replicate outside of wasps; and (2) they function as a delivery vector of genes that ensure successful parasitism of host insects that wasps parasitize. In this review we discuss how these novelties may have arisen, which genes are potentially involved, and what the consequences have been for genome evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: symbiosis; parasitoid; evolution symbiosis; parasitoid; evolution

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Burke, G.R.; Strand, M.R. Polydnaviruses of Parasitic Wasps: Domestication of Viruses To Act as Gene Delivery Vectors. Insects 2012, 3, 91-119.

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