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Journal of General Virology
Rivkin, H., Entomology Department, Institute of Plant Protection, The Volcani Center, POB 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Kroemer, J.A., Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, S-225 Agricultural Sciences Center North, Lexington, KY 40546, United States
Bronshtein, A., Entomology Department, Institute of Plant Protection, The Volcani Center, POB 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Belausov, E., Entomology Department, Institute of Plant Sciences, The Volcani Center, POB 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Webb, B.A., Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, S-225 Agricultural Sciences Center North, Lexington, KY 40546, United States
Chejanovsky, N., Entomology Department, Institute of Plant Protection, The Volcani Center, POB 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
The Mediterranean lepidopteran pest Spodoptera littoralis is highly resistant to infection with the Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) via the oral route, but highly sensitive to infection with budded virus (BV) via the intrahaemocoelic route. To study the fate of AcMNPV infection in S. littoralis, vHSGFP, an AcMNPV recombinant that expresses the reporter green fluorescent protein gene under the control of the Drosophila heat-shock promoter, and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy were utilized. S. littoralis fourth-instar larvae infected orally with vHSGFP showed melanization and encapsulation of virus-infected tracheoblast cells serving the midgut columnar cells. At 72 h post-infection, the viral foci were removed during the moult clearing the infection. Thus, oral infection was restricted by immune responses to the midgut and midgut-associated tracheal cells. By contrast, injection of BV into the haemocoel resulted in successful infection of tracheoblasts, followed by spread of the virus through the tracheal epidermis to other tissues. However, in contrast to fully permissive infections where tracheoblasts and haemocytes are equally susceptible to infection, a severe limitation to vHSGFP infection of haemocytes was observed. To investigate the resistance of S. littoralis haemocytes to BV infection with AcMNPV, the larval immune system was suppressed with the Chelonus inanitus polydnavirus or a putatively immunosuppressive polydnavirus gene, P-vank-1. Both treatments increased the susceptibility of S. littoralis larvae to AcMNPV. It is concluded that the resistance of S. littoralis to AcMNPV infection involves both humoral and cellular immune responses that act at the gut and haemocyte levels. The results also support the hypothesis that tracheolar cells mediate establishment of systemic baculovirus infections in lepidopteran larvae. The finding that polydnaviruses and their encoded genes synergize baculovirus infection also provides an approach to dissecting the responses of the lepidopteran immune system to viruses by using specific polydnavirus immunosuppressive genes. © 2006 SGM.
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Response of immunocompetent and immunosuppressed Spodoptera littoralis larvae to baculovirus infection
87
Rivkin, H., Entomology Department, Institute of Plant Protection, The Volcani Center, POB 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Kroemer, J.A., Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, S-225 Agricultural Sciences Center North, Lexington, KY 40546, United States
Bronshtein, A., Entomology Department, Institute of Plant Protection, The Volcani Center, POB 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Belausov, E., Entomology Department, Institute of Plant Sciences, The Volcani Center, POB 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Webb, B.A., Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, S-225 Agricultural Sciences Center North, Lexington, KY 40546, United States
Chejanovsky, N., Entomology Department, Institute of Plant Protection, The Volcani Center, POB 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Response of immunocompetent and immunosuppressed Spodoptera littoralis larvae to baculovirus infection
The Mediterranean lepidopteran pest Spodoptera littoralis is highly resistant to infection with the Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) via the oral route, but highly sensitive to infection with budded virus (BV) via the intrahaemocoelic route. To study the fate of AcMNPV infection in S. littoralis, vHSGFP, an AcMNPV recombinant that expresses the reporter green fluorescent protein gene under the control of the Drosophila heat-shock promoter, and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy were utilized. S. littoralis fourth-instar larvae infected orally with vHSGFP showed melanization and encapsulation of virus-infected tracheoblast cells serving the midgut columnar cells. At 72 h post-infection, the viral foci were removed during the moult clearing the infection. Thus, oral infection was restricted by immune responses to the midgut and midgut-associated tracheal cells. By contrast, injection of BV into the haemocoel resulted in successful infection of tracheoblasts, followed by spread of the virus through the tracheal epidermis to other tissues. However, in contrast to fully permissive infections where tracheoblasts and haemocytes are equally susceptible to infection, a severe limitation to vHSGFP infection of haemocytes was observed. To investigate the resistance of S. littoralis haemocytes to BV infection with AcMNPV, the larval immune system was suppressed with the Chelonus inanitus polydnavirus or a putatively immunosuppressive polydnavirus gene, P-vank-1. Both treatments increased the susceptibility of S. littoralis larvae to AcMNPV. It is concluded that the resistance of S. littoralis to AcMNPV infection involves both humoral and cellular immune responses that act at the gut and haemocyte levels. The results also support the hypothesis that tracheolar cells mediate establishment of systemic baculovirus infections in lepidopteran larvae. The finding that polydnaviruses and their encoded genes synergize baculovirus infection also provides an approach to dissecting the responses of the lepidopteran immune system to viruses by using specific polydnavirus immunosuppressive genes. © 2006 SGM.
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