Submitted to: Society for Invertebrate Pathology Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2013
Publication Date: 8/11/2013
Citation: Sparks, M., Gundersen, D.E., Harrison, R.L. 2013. Sequence of a novel iflavirus identified in the transcriptome of the brown marmorated stink bug. Society for Invertebrate Pathology Annual Meeting. p.101.
Technical Abstract: The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is an invasive species from Asia that has become a severe agricultural pest in the mid-Atlantic US, where it attacks a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other host plants and also acts as a nuisance pest that infests homes in large numbers during the fall and winter. Determination of the BMSB transcriptome revealed sequencing reads sharing >70% nucleotide sequence identity with a picorna-like virus detected in fecal samples from the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. These reads assembled into a 9,271 nt transcript terminating in a poly(A) tail and containing a large 9,051 nt ORF. Phylogenetic inference with an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) domain encoded by the ORF and with conserved iflavirus and dicistrovirus RdRp domains grouped the BMSB sequence with other iflavirus sequences, with the closest relationships observed with the E. fuscus fecal sample picorna-like virus and with sacbrood virus. The presence of the iflavirus genome in BMSB RNA samples was confirmed by PCR with first-strand cDNA primed with either oligo-dT or gene-specific primers. 5’- and 3’-terminal sequences were confirmed by 5’ and 3’ RACE. The proportion of total transcriptome reads corresponding to the BMSB iflavirus sequence increased by approximately 480-fold in BMSB adults relative to BMSB nymphs, suggesting increased replication of the viral genome occurring sometime after the nymph-adult molt. This research points to a pathogen that potentially can be exploited for control of BMSB populations.