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J Gen Virol. 2010 May;91(Pt 5):1173-82. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.017160-0. Epub 2009 Dec 23.

Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus ODV-E56 envelope protein is required for oral infectivity and can be substituted functionally by Rachiplusia ou multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus ODV-E56.

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Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory, USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Plant Sciences Institute, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.


The Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) odv-e56 gene encodes an occlusion-derived virus (ODV)-specific envelope protein, ODV-E56. In a previous analysis, the odv-e56 gene was found to be under positive selection pressure, suggesting that it may be a determinant of virus host range. To assess the role of ODV-E56 in oral infectivity and host range, we constructed recombinant AcMNPV clones (Ac69GFP-e56lacZ and AcIEGFP-e56lacZ) in which ODV-E56 protein synthesis was eliminated by inserting a beta-galactosidase (lacZ) expression cassette into the odv-e56 open reading frame. We also constructed a recombinant virus, Ac69GFP-Roe56, in which the native AcMNPV odv-e56 coding sequence was replaced with that of Rachiplusia ou multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (RoMNPV), a closely related virus that is significantly more virulent towards some host species than AcMNPV. The odv-e56 recombinant viruses exhibited no alterations in polyhedron production and morphogenesis or in the production of infectious budded virus in cell culture. In bioassays using three lepidopteran host species, the oral infectivities of the odv-e56 mutant viruses Ac69GFP-e56lacZ and AcIEGFP-e56lacZ were profoundly impaired compared with those of wild-type and control recombinant viruses. Oral infectivity was restored fully by marker rescue of the odv-e56 mutant viruses with either the AcMNPV or the RoMNPV odv-e56 gene. In bioassays using two host species that are more susceptible to RoMNPV than to AcMNPV, Ac69GFP-Roe56 killed larvae with LC50 values similar to those of recombinant viruses expressing AcMNPV ODV-E56. This result indicated that replacement of the AcMNPV odv-e56 gene with the RoMNPV orthologue did not increase virulence against these two species.

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