Characterization of a succession of small insect viruses in a wild South African population of Nudaurelia cytherea capensis (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae)

Walter, C.T. and Tomasicchio,, Michele and Hodgson, V. and Hendry, D.A. and Hill, M.P. and Dorrington, R.A. (2008) Characterization of a succession of small insect viruses in a wild South African population of Nudaurelia cytherea capensis (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae). South African Journal of Science, 104 (March/April). pp. 147-152. ISSN 0038-2353

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Abstract

The Tetraviridae are a family of small insect RNA viruses first discovered in South Africa some 40 years ago. They consist of one or two single-stranded (+) RNAs encapsidated in an icosahedral capsid of approximately 40 nm in diameter, with T = 4 symmetry. The type members of the two genera within this family, Nudaurelia β virus (NβV) and Nudaurelia ω virus (NωV), infect Nudaurelia cytherea capensis (pine emperor moth) larvae. The absence of N. capensis laboratory colonies and tissue culture cell lines susceptible to virus infection have limited research on the biology of NβV and NωV because the availability of infectious virus is dependent upon sporadic outbreaks in the wild N. capensis populations. In September 2002, dead and dying N. capensis larvae exhibiting symptoms similar to those reported previously in other tetravirus infections were observed in a wild population in a pine forest in the Western Cape province of South Africa. We report here the isolation of three small insect viruses from this population over a period of three years. Transmission electron microscopy and serological characterization indicate that all three are tetra-like virus isolates. One isolate was shown by cDNA sequence analysis to be NβV, which was thought to have been extinct since 1985. The two other isolates are likely new tetraviruses, designated Nudaurelia ψ virus (NψV) and Nudaurelia ζ virus (NζV), which are morphologically and serologically related to NωV and NβV, respectively.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Nudaurelia capensis omega virus; Nudaurelia capensis beta virus; RNA Viruses; Lepidoptera
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Biochemistry, Microbiology & Biotechnology
Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:1042
Deposited By: Ms Vivien Botha
Deposited On:28 Jul 2008
Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 12:58
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