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Phd. student Cheng Ruolin found a nudivirus DNA integrated into a hemipteran insect genome

Date:2014-04-24 Hits:565

 Nudiviruses are large, double-stranded DNA viruses which infect a wide range of arthropods. Previously known hosts of nudiviruses include a caterpillar, a beetle, a cricket, a fruitfly, and a shrimp, all of which eat mainly by chewing. These viruses perorally invade their hosts through fecal contaminated foods and sometimes cause fatal infection. Now Ph.D student Cheng Ruolin et al. from Prof. Zhang Chuanxi's lab in Institute of Insect Science, report for the first time the discovery of a large, nearly complete, double-stranded DNA nudivirus integrated into the genome of the brown planthopper (BPH), a sap-sucking hemipteran insect. The virus sequences were present in all of the 22 BPH populations collected from East, Southeast, and South Asia. Nudiviruses are not known to be plant viruses, and should be very difficult to be horizontally transmitted via plant vascular bundle tissue. The integration of the virus sequences into the chromosomes of its insect host is a story of successful coevolution of an invertebrate virus and a plant sapsucking insect. These results is also an exciting addition to the evolutionary story of bracoviruses, nudiviruses, and baculoviruses.
This study was recently published in the May issue of Journal of Virology (, and was chosen as a JVI spotlight feature ( This work was supported by grants from the National Basic Research Program of China (2010CB126205), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31070136), and the Education of Zhejiang Province, project no.Y201225018.