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J Virol. 1990 Apr;64(4):1844-50.

An insertion of insect cell DNA in the 81-map-unit segment of Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus DNA.

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  • 1Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne, Federal Republic of Germany.


In this report, a transposonlike insertion of Spodoptera frugiperda insect cell DNA was analyzed in single-plaque isolate E of the insect baculovirus Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcNPV). The 634-base-pair insertion is characterized by an 18-base-pair terminal inverted repeat and carries an EcoRI site. This additional EcoRI site in the 81-map-unit segment of the DNA of plaque isolate E of AcNPV explains the difference between the EcoRI restriction map of the DNA from this isolate and those of the virus stocks used in other laboratories. Except for this insertion, the nucleotide sequence at the site of insertion in the DNA of plaque isolate E is identical to that of AcNPV E2 (G. E. Smith and M. D. Summers, Virology 89:517-527, 1978). The cellular DNA insertion in the AcNPV genome is represented many times in the S. frugiperda cell genome but has no detectable homology with DNAs from species other than lepidopteran insects. In S. frugiperda cells, the transposonlike insertion sequences are transcribed into cytoplasmic RNA. The transcription of these sequences is initiated within the cellular insertion element. As reported previously (C. Oellig, B. Happ, T. Müller, and W. Doerfler, J. Virol. 61:3048-3057, 1987), in S. frugiperda cells infected with plaque isolate E of AcNPV, at least nine different size classes of AcNPV-specific RNAs are synthesized; in AcNPV E2-infected cells, similar size classes have been detected. The cellular insertion of plaque isolate E provides the initiation site for the synthesis of an additional RNA size class which is transcribed off viral DNA.

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