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J Gen Virol. 2002 Aug;83(Pt 8):2035-45.

Polydnavirus replication: the EP1 segment of the parasitoid wasp Cotesia congregata is amplified within a larger precursor molecule.

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Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, UMR CNRS 6035 et Institut Fédératif de Recherche Biologie des Transposons et des Virus, Faculté des Sciences, Parc de Grandmont, F-37200 Tours, France.


Polydnaviruses are unique viruses: they are essential for successful parasitism by tens of thousands of species of parasitoid wasps. These viruses are obligatorily associated with the wasps and are injected into the host during oviposition. Molecular analyses have shown that each virus sequence in the segmented polydnavirus genome is present in the wasp DNA in two forms: a circular form found in the virus particles and an integrated form found in the wasp chromosomes. Recent studies performed on polydnaviruses from braconid wasps suggested that the circular forms were excised from the chromosome. The different forms of the EP1 circle of Cotesia congregata polydnavirus during the pupal-adult development of the parasitoid wasp were analysed. Unexpectedly, an off-size fragment formerly used to diagnose the integration of the EP1 sequence into wasp genomic DNA was found to be amplified in female wasps undergoing virus replication. The EP1 sequence is amplified within a larger molecule comprising at least two virus segments. The amplified molecule is different from the EP1 chromosomally integrated form and is not encapsidated into virus particles. These findings shed light on a new step towards EP1 circle production: the amplification of virus sequences preceding individual circle excision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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