Further Characterization of the Gonad-Specific Virus of Corn Earworm, Helicoverpa zea
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The gonad-specific virus (GSV) is a DNA virus infecting the reproductive tracts of adults of both sexes of the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, causing severe tissue deformities leading to sterility. Atypical occlusion bodies containing large concentrations of virions embedded in a granular matrix were seen in the lumen of the oviduct and the bursa copulatrix of infected females. The virus, transmitted by both sexes, was successfully propagated in vivo and in tissue culture. The GSV genome is about 225 kb in size, with no apparent similarity to the nucleopolyhedrovirus type species, AcMNPV, genomic DNA, as determined by Southern hybridization. PCR amplification of GSV genomic DNA with primers derived from the highly conserved polyhedra gene of several baculoviruses indicated no similarity. GSV at 10(-2) female equivalents (based on virus obtained from the bursa copulatrix and oviducts of one infected female) injected into a newly emerged female and mated to a normal male resulted in >95% agonadal progeny. However, at lower doses, some of the adult progeny looked normal but apparently carried a low level of the virus that could be responsible for sustenance of infection in a given colony, as well as in nature.
author list (cited authors)
Raina, A. K., Adams, J. R., Lupiani, B., Lynn, D. E., Kim, W., Burand, J. P., & Dougherty, E. M.