Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/12/2011
Publication Date: 7/1/2011
Citation: Valles, S.M., Bextine, B. 2011. Examination of host genome for the presence of integrated fragments of Solenopsis invicta virus 1. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 107(3):212-215. Interpretive Summary: The red imported fire ant currently infests about 300 million acres and causes economic losses that exceed 6 billion dollars annually in the United States. Solenopsis invicta virus 1 (SINV-1) was the first virus discovered from the red imported fire ant and is being evaluated and developed as a biopesticide to naturally control this pestiferous ant. SINV-1 is a positive strand RNA virus that replicates autonomously in fire ant midgut cells. In an effort to verify that no DNA stage of SINV-1 exists during the viruses life cycle, scientists at the USDA-ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (Gainesville, FL) and the University of Texas, Tyler, have evaluated the fire ant’s genome for the presence of integrated portions of the virus’s genome. SINV-1 does not appear to have been integrated into the ant genome providing important information about the virus’s biology and replication strategy.
Technical Abstract: A series of oligonucleotide primer pairs covering the entire genome of Solenopsis invicta virus 1 (SINV-1) were used to probe the Solenopsis invicta genome for integrated fragments of the viral genome. All of the oligonucleotide primer sets yielded amplicons of anticipated size from cDNA created from an RNA template from SINV-1. However, no corresponding amplification was observed when genomic DNA (from 32 colonies of S. invicta) was used as template for the PCR amplifications. The representation of fire ant colonies included both social forms, monogyne and polygyne, and those infected and uninfected with SINV-1. Furthermore, no amplification was observed from genomic DNA from ant samples collected from Argentina or the U.S. Thus, it appears that SINV-1 genome integration, or a portion therein, has not likely occurred within the S. invicta host genome.