Chapter

Polydnaviruses as tools to deliver wasp virulence factors to impair lepidopteran host immunity

Sebastien Moreau, Elisabeth Huguet and Jean-Michel Drezen

in Insect Infection and Immunity

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199551354
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720505 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199551354.003.0009
Polydnaviruses as tools to deliver wasp virulence factors to impair lepidopteran host immunity

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The associations between several thousands of parasitic wasps and viruses (polydnaviruses or PDVs) represent a unique example where a complex virus machinery has been domesticated by one organism (the parasitic wasp) to manipulate the physiology of another (the parasitized lepidopteran larval host). The viral machinery produces particles used to transfer and express virulence genes encoding factors that impair host immunity. PDV particles, injected along with parasite eggs into the host body, manipulate host immune defences and development, thus enabling wasp larvae to survive and develop in a potentially harmful environment. This chapter begins by presenting the characteristics of PDVs and the origin of the genes they encode. It then describes the general effect of PDVs on the insect immune system, and finally reviews functional analyses of PDV products.

Keywords: PDV; parasitic wasps; viruses; insect immunity; host immunity

Chapter.  12465 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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