Gene organization and sequencing of the Choristoneura fumiferana defective nucleopolyhedrovirus genome.J Gen Virol. 2005 Apr; 86(Pt 4):945-61.JG
Two distinct nucleopolyhedrovirus species of the eastern spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana, exist in a symbiont-like relationship. C. fumiferana defective nucleopolyhedrovirus (CfDEFNPV) only infects C. fumiferana larvae per os in the presence of C. fumiferana nucleopolyhedrovirus Ireland strain (CfMNPV), but is infective when injected into the haemolymph. CfDEFNPV synergizes CfMNPV in per os infections and CfMNPV is always the predominant progeny. This study was undertaken to report the genomic makeup and organization of CfDEFNPV in an attempt to identify its defect and understand its synergistic role. The genome was mapped, sequenced, characterized and compared to other baculoviruses. The CfDEFNPV genome was 131,160 nt long with 149 putative open reading frames (ORFs) and a G + C content of 45.8 mol%. Homologues of all 62 conserved lepidopteran baculovirus genes were found including those implicated in per os infectivity, p74, per os infectivity factor (pif) and pif-2. Although no obvious deletions were observed to explain the defect, two ORFs, Cfdef79 and Cfdef99 (inhibitor of apoptosis-4), contained potential deletions. Cfdef50 (late expression factor-10)/Cfdef51 (vp1054) and Cfdef76/Cfdef77 (telokin-like protein) had large overlaps and a potential homologue to ac105/he65 was split. Four baculovirus repeat ORFs were present, as were two unique genes, but no enhancins were identified. CfDEFNPV contained 13 homologous regions, each with one to five palindromes. Comparison with fully sequenced baculovirus genomes identified CfDEFNPV as a group I NPV with the closest average amino acid identity to Epiphyas postvittana NPV, followed by Orgyia pseudotsugata MNPV and CfMNPV, with its closest matches being to individual Anticarsia gemmatalis MNPV gene sequences.