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J Virol. 2001 Nov;75(22):11157-65.

Genome sequence of a baculovirus pathogenic for Culex nigripalpus.

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  • 1Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Greenport, New York 11944, USA.


In this report we describe the complete genome sequence of a nucleopolyhedrovirus that infects larval stages of the mosquito Culex nigripalpus (CuniNPV). The CuniNPV genome is a circular double-stranded DNA molecule of 108,252 bp and is predicted to contain 109 genes. Although 36 of these genes show homology to genes from other baculoviruses, their orientation and order exhibit little conservation relative to the genomes of lepidopteran baculoviruses. CuniNPV genes homologous to those from other baculoviruses include genes involved in early and late gene expression (lef-4, lef-5, lef-8, lef-9, vlf-1, and p47), DNA replication (lef-1, lef-2, helicase-1, and dna-pol), and structural functions (vp39, vp91, odv-ec27, odv-e56, p6.9, gp41, p74, and vp1054). Auxiliary genes include homologues of genes encoding the p35 antiapoptosis protein and a novel insulin binding-related protein. In contrast to these conserved genes, CuniNPV lacks apparent homologues of baculovirus genes essential (ie-1 and lef-3) or stimulatory (ie-2, lef-7, pe38) for DNA replication. Also, baculovirus genes essential or stimulatory for early-late (ie-1, ie-2), early (ie-0 and pe-38), and late (lef-6, lef-11, and pp31) gene transcription are not identifiable. In addition, CuniNPV lacks homologues of genes involved in the formation of virogenic stroma (pp31), nucleocapsid (orf1629, p87, and p24), envelope of occluded virions (odv-e25, odv-e66, odv-e18), and polyhedra (polyhedrin/granulin, p10, pp34, and fp25k). A homologue of gp64, a budded virus envelope fusion protein, was also absent, although a gene related to the other category of baculovirus budded virus envelope proteins, Ld130, was present. The absence of homologues of occlusion-derived virion (ODV) envelope proteins and occlusion body (OB) protein (polyhedrin) suggests that both CuniNPV ODV and OB may be structurally and compositionally different from those found in terrestrial lepidopteran hosts. The striking difference in genome organization, the low level of conservation of homologous genes, and the lack of many genes conserved in other baculoviruses suggest a large evolutionary distance between CuniNPV and lepidopteran baculoviruses.

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