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J Invertebr Pathol. 2000 Feb;75(2):144-51.

Virulence variability of the Drosophila C virus and effects of the microparasite on demographic parameters of the host (Drosophila melanogaster).

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Ecologie, UMR 7625, Universit√© Pierre-et-Marie Curie, Paris, France.


We carried out experiments with the Drosophila C virus (DCV), a nonhereditary virus acting on demographic parameters of infected Drosophila host populations. It is well known that DCV increases mortality rate, decreases developmental time, and increases daily fecundity. As usual for Drosophila viruses, the DCV was multiplied in vivo. In this study we tested the hypothesis of virulence variability in DCV strains by isolating different stocks of the virus. The flies were tested for susceptibility to injection of such isolates and for virulence variability. Possible interactions between demographic parameters in three Drosophila host populations and injected isolates were studied under two egg densities (low and high). The hypothesis of virulence variability of DCV was supported by significant differences in mortality rates, depending on whether virus isolates were ingested or injected. When DCV was ingested, differences between host mortality rates were independent of the Drosophila host populations. Nevertheless, the developmental time was equally decreased by each virus isolate, independent of the host population. Moreover, the two viral stocks strongly increased the egg production of the flies. This experimental approach clearly showed that DCV could be considered a polymorphic virus. The phenotypic interactions between DCV and host flies varied according to parasite genotype.

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