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Annu Rev Entomol. 2011;56:313-35. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-120709-144849.

Venom proteins from endoparasitoid wasps and their role in host-parasite interactions.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072.


Endoparasitoids introduce a variety of factors into their host during oviposition to ensure successful parasitism. These include ovarian and venom fluids that may be accompanied by viruses and virus-like particles. An overwhelming number of venom components are enzymes with similarities to insect metabolic enzymes, suggesting their recruitment for expression in venom glands with modified functions. Other components include protease inhibitors, paralytic factors, and constituents that facilitate/enhance entry and expression of genes from symbiotic viruses or virus-like particles. In addition, the venom gland may itself support replication/production of some viruses or virus-like entities. Overlapping functions and structural similarities of some venom, ovarian, and virus-encoded proteins suggest coevolution of molecules recruited by endoparasitoids to maintain their fitness relative to their host.

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