Baculoviral p94 homologs encoded in Cotesia plutellae bracovirus suppress both immunity and development of the diamondback moth, Plutellae xylostella.Insect Sci. 2016 Apr; 23(2):235-44.IS
Polydnaviruses (PDVs) are a group of insect DNA viruses, which exhibit a mutual symbiotic relationship with their specific host wasps. Moreover, most encapsidated genes identified so far in PDVs share homologies with insect-originated genes, but not with virus-originated genes. In the meantime, PDVs associated with 2 wasp genera Cotesia and Glytapanteles encode some genes presumably originated from other viruses. Cotesia plutellae bracovirus (CpBV) encodes 4 genes homologous to baculoviral p94: CpBV-E94k1, CpBV-E94k2, CpBV-E94k3, and CpBV-E94k4. This study was conducted to predict the origin of CpBV-E94ks by comparing their sequences with those of baculoviral orthologs and to determine the physiological functions by their transient expressions in nonparasitized larvae and subsequent specific RNA interference. Our phylogenetic analysis indicated that CpBV-E94ks were clustered with other E94ks originated from different PDVs and shared high similarity with betabaculoviral p94s. These 4 CpBV genes were expressed during most developmental stages of the larvae of Plutella xylostella parasitized by C. plutellae. Expression of these 4 E94ks was mainly detected in hemocytes and fat body. Subsequent functional analysis by in vivo transient expression showed that all 4 viral genes significantly inhibited both host immune and developmental processes. These results suggest that CpBV-E94ks share an origin with betabaculoviral p94s and play parasitic roles in suppressing host immune and developmental processes.