Conserved Viral Transcription Plays a Key Role in Virus-Like Particle Production of the Parasitoid Wasp Venturia canescens - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Virology Year : 2022

Conserved Viral Transcription Plays a Key Role in Virus-Like Particle Production of the Parasitoid Wasp Venturia canescens

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Abstract

Nudiviruses are large double-stranded DNA viruses related to baculoviruses known to be endogenized in the genomes of certain parasitic wasp species. These wasp-virus associations allow the production of viral particles or virus-like particles that ensure wasp parasitism success within lepidopteran hosts. Venturia canescens is an ichneumonid wasp belonging to the Campopleginae subfamily that has endogenized nudivirus genes belonging to the Alphanudivirus genus to produce "virus-like particles" (Venturia canescens virus-like particles [VcVLPs]), which package proteic virulence factors. The main aim of this study was to determine whether alphanudivirus gene functions have been conserved following endogenization. The expression dynamics of alphanudivirus genes was monitored by a high throughput transcriptional approach, and the functional role of lef-4 and lef-8 genes predicted to encode viral RNA polymerase components was investigated by RNA interference. As described for baculovirus infections and for endogenized nudivirus genes in braconid wasp species producing bracoviruses, a transcriptional cascade involving early and late expressed alphanudivirus genes could be observed. The expression of lef-4 and lef-8 was also shown to be required for the expression of alphanudivirus late genes allowing correct particle formation. Together with previous literature, the results show that endogenization of nudiviruses in parasitoid wasps has repeatedly led to the conservation of the viral RNA polymerase function, allowing the production of viruses or viral-like particles that differ in composition but enable wasp parasitic success. IMPORTANCE This study shows that endogenization of a nudivirus genome in a Campopleginae parasitoid wasp has led to the conservation, as for endogenized nudiviruses in braconid parasitoid wasps, of the viral RNA polymerase function, required for the transcription of genes encoding viral particles involved in wasp parasitism success. We also showed for the first time that RNA interference (RNAi) can be successfully used to downregulate gene expression in this species, a model in behavioral ecology. This opens the opportunity to investigate the function of genes involved in other traits important for parasitism success, such as reproductive strategies and host choice. Fundamental data acquired on gene function in Venturia canescens are likely to be transferable to other parasitoid wasp species used in biological control programs. This study also renders possible the investigation of other nudivirus gene functions, for which little data are available. This study shows that endogenization of a nudivirus genome in a Campopleginae parasitoid wasp has led to the conservation, as for endogenized nudiviruses in braconid parasitoid wasps, of the viral RNA polymerase function, required for the transcription of genes encoding viral particles involved in wasp parasitism success. We also showed for the first time that RNA interference (RNAi) can be successfully used to downregulate gene expression in this species, a model in behavioral ecology.
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hal-03838164 , version 1 (21-11-2022)

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Alexandra Cerqueira de Araujo, Matthieu Leobold, Annie Bézier, Karine Musset, Rustem Uzbekov, et al.. Conserved Viral Transcription Plays a Key Role in Virus-Like Particle Production of the Parasitoid Wasp Venturia canescens. Journal of Virology, 2022, 96 (13), ⟨10.1128/jvi.00524-22⟩. ⟨hal-03838164⟩
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