Submitted to: National Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 12, 2006
Publication Date: March 12, 2006
Citation: Gundersen, D.E. 2006. Parasitoid polydnaviruses: unusual life strategies and potential for use in biological control. National Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting Eastern Branch , Charlottesville, VA. March 12,2006 ; March 14,2006 Technical Abstract: Parasitoid wasps that kill insects but are harmless to humans and other vertebrate animals have been used for years as biological control agents in many insect pest management programs. Certain species of parasitoids contain a complex dsDNA polydnavirus (PDV) that is injected along with parasitoid egg(s) into host lepidopteran pests during parasitization. PDVs are probably the most important parasitoid factors in regulating and causing decline of lepidopteran pest larvae. Inside the larval host, PDVs infect various cells and tissue types, where host-specific viral genes are expressed. Expression of PDV-encoded protein gene products in the pest host alters physiology by inhibiting immune response, development, and behavior, enabling the parasitoid offspring to complete the endoparasitic life-stage. Little is known about some basic biological properties of the parasitoid polydnavirus because it is different from other DNA viruses, especially its life strategies and mode of replication. Recently, several PDV genomes have been fully sequenced and a number of genes and gene families discovered that may be involved directly or indirectly in disruption of insect pest immune systems, growth, and/or development, and may be useful in pest biocontrol.