Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2008
Publication Date: 11/14/2008
Citation: Tufts, D.M., Spencer, K., Hunter, W.B., Bextine, B. 2008. Identification and integration of Picorna-like viruses in multiple insect taxa [abstract]. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. p ?. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Virus infection often leads to incorporation of a piece of the virus genetic code into the genome of the host organism, referred to as integration. Determining if the virus has integrated into the host genome provides valuable information needed to monitor disease spread. Detection of integrated viral sequences often leads researchers to a false-positive, whereby there is no real virus infection. To better understand the level of viral integration in insects we examined viruses from the Picornaviridae superfamily, which consists of over 450 species of positive, single-stranded RNA viruses. This family is unique in that all members have a protein that is attached to the 5' end which is used as a primer for RNA polymerase during transcription. Picorna viruses infect many different organisms, including mammals, birds, and insects. In this study we provide evidence that picorna-like viruses are present in a range of insect hosts and that this type of virus has integrated into the DNA of various insect species. We provide evidence of picorna-like viruses in the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis; the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta; and the European honeybee, Apis mellifera. Analysis of reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) demonstrated that viruses in the subgroup Dicistroviridae have integrated into the genomes of the fire ant and honey bee. However, integration of HoCV-1 into the glassy-winged sharpshooter was not identified.