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J Virol. 2014 May;88(10):5310-8. doi: 10.1128/JVI.03166-13. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Brown planthopper nudivirus DNA integrated in its host genome.

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Institute of Insect Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.


The brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens (Hemiptera:Delphacidae), is one of the most destructive insect pests of rice crops in Asia. Nudivirus-like sequences were identified during the whole-genome sequencing of BPH. PCR examination showed that the virus sequences were present in all of the 22 BPH populations collected from East, Southeast, and South Asia. Thirty-two of the 33 nudivirus core genes were identified, including 20 homologues of baculovirus core genes. In addition, several gene clusters that were arranged collinearly with those of other nudiviruses were found in the partial virus genome. In a phylogenetic tree constructed using the supermatrix method, the original virus was grouped with other nudiviruses and was closely related to polydnavirus. Taken together, these data indicated that the virus sequences belong to a new member of the family Nudiviridae. More specifically, the virus sequences were integrated into the chromosome of its insect host during coevolution. This study is the first report of a large double-stranded circular DNA virus genome in a sap-sucking hemipteran insect.


This is the first report of a large double-stranded DNA virus integrated genome in the planthopper, a plant sap-sucking hemipteran insect. It is an exciting addition to the evolutionary story of bracoviruses (polydnaviruses), nudiviruses, and baculoviruses. The results on the virus sequences integrated in the chromosomes of its insect host also represent a story of successful coevolution of an invertebrate virus and a plant sap-sucking insect.

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