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J Insect Physiol. 1998 Sep;44(9):859-866.

Mechanism of parasitism-induced elevation of haemolymph growth-blocking peptide levels in host insect larvae (Pseudaletia separata).

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Department of Applied Biology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Matsugasaki, Sakyo, Kyoto, Japan


Growth-blocking peptide (GBP) has been purified for the first time from the haemolymph of the host armyworm Pseudaletia separata whose growth is inhibited and shows developmental arrest in the last larval instar stage when parasitized by the parasitoid wasp Cotesia kariyai. GBP naturally occurs in the haemolymph of lepidopteran larvae but its concentration is very low during the last larval instar in comparison with that in the penultimate larval instar. However, by 24h after parasitization or polydnavirus (PdV)-infection on day 0 of the last larval instar, a four-fold increase in GBP level, compared with synchronous non-parasitized control larvae, is observed. Although Northern blot analysis indicates that GBP mRNA is transcribed in brain-nerve cord and fat body, plasma GBP is likely to be secreted mainly from fat body because the GBP mRNA level is approximately 100-fold higher in fat body than that in brain-nerve cord. RT-PCR analysis demonstrates the constant expression of GBP mRNA in both parasitized (or PdV-infected) and non-parasitized larval fat body, which suggests that parasitism does not influence transcriptional level, but might influence post-transcriptional level to elevate plasma GBP concentration. This interpretation was supported by estimating GBP precursor levels in fat body of PdV-infected and non-infected larvae. Virus infection appears to elevate the GBP precursor levels in fat body to about six times greater than that in non-infected last instar larvae by 6h after PdV-injection. The GBP processing enzyme activity that occurs in Golgi body-rich extract of the fat body is increased by about 90% after parasitization or PdV-injection.

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