Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Our laboratory has been interested in studying a DNA insect virus isolated from a parasitoid wasp. The braconid parasitoid wasp, Glyptapanteles indiensis, infects its natural host, Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth), with a polydnavirus (GiPDV) to suppress the host immune system during parasitization. Because of the unusual properties of this virus, we have evaluated the molecular nature of the GiPDV with the goal of exploring its potential use as a virus-derived vector for foreign gene expression and/or for transformation of insect cells. Currently there are no satisfactory genetic transformation systems for insect pests of economic importance. The GiPDV genome is complex and consists of a polydisperse mixture of circular double-stranded DNA molecules ranging in size from approximately 10 to 28 kb. We have determined that a portion of the GiPDV viral genome, approximately 10% to 15%, can persist in infected L. dispar cell lines of somatic origin, and is apparently stably integrated into the chromosome of these lepidopteran cells. To evaluate the virus-cell DNA integration event, clones were derived from the transformed L. dispar cellular DNA using lambda and plasmid cloning vectors. Clones containing both viral and cellular DNA were sub-cloned and analyzed to isolate an integration junction and determine specific nucleotide sequences required for virus integration. A variety of insect cell lines derived from different insect species and tissue types were evaluated for their ability to be transformed by GiPDV DNA to determine its potential in vitro host range.