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J Gen Virol. 2003 Jul;84(Pt 7):1789-97.

Flock house virus replicates and expresses green fluorescent protein in mosquitoes.

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Department of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1656 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Flock house virus (FHV) is a non-enveloped, positive-sense RNA virus of insect origin that belongs to the family Nodaviridae. FHV has been shown to overcome the kingdom barrier and to replicate in plants, insects, yeast and mammalian cells. Although of insect origin, FHV has not previously been shown to replicate in mosquitoes. We have tested FHV replication in vitro in C6/36 cells (derived from neonatal Aedes albopictus) and in vivo in four different genera of mosquitoes, Aedes, Culex, Anopheles and Armigeres. FHV replicated to high titres in C6/36 cells that had been subcloned to support maximum growth of FHV. When adult mosquitoes were orally fed or injected with the virus, FHV antigen was detected in various tissues and infectious virus was recovered. Vectors developed from an infectious cDNA clone of a defective-interfering RNA, derived from FHV genomic RNA2, expressed green fluorescent protein in Drosophila cells and adult mosquitoes. This demonstrates the potential of FHV-based vectors for expression of foreign genes in mosquitoes and possibly other insects.

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