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Title: Lymantria dispar iflavirus 1 (LdIV1), a new model to study iflaviral persistence in lepidopterans

item CARRILLO-TRIPP, JIMENA - Iowa State University
item KRUEGER, ELIZABETH - Iowa State University
item Harrison, Robert - Bob
item TOTH, AMY - Iowa State University
item MILLER, W. ALLEN - Iowa State University
item BONNING, BRYONG - Iowa State University

Submitted to: Journal of General Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/2014
Publication Date: 10/1/2014
Citation: Carrillo-Tripp, J., Krueger, E.N., Harrison, R.L., Toth, A.L., Miller, W., Bonning, B.C. 2014. Lymantria dispar iflavirus 1 (LdIV1), a new model to study iflaviral persistence in lepidopterans. Journal of General Virology. 95(10):2285-2296.

Interpretive Summary: The gypsy moth is a serious pest of trees and forests in the United States and elsewhere. Naturally occurring pathogenic microorganisms of the gypsy moth potentially can be developed into environmentally safe insecticides for suppressing gypsy moth outbreaks. In this study, a new gypsy moth virus was discovered and studied. Infectious particles of this virus were isolated and its genetic sequence was determined. This new gypsy moth virus was found in a wide range of gypsy moth tissues, developmental stages, and cell lines. Isolated particles of this virus were used successfully to infect gypsy moth cells. The information in this study contributes to progress towards the biological control of the gypsy moth, and will be of interest to those in academia, government, and industry who work with gypsy moth or with insect viruses of the same kind as described in this study.

Technical Abstract: The cell line IPLB-LD-652Y derived from the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar, Linn.) is routinely used to study insect virus-host interactions. Here we report the full genome sequence and biological characteristics of a small RNA virus, designated Lymantria dispar iflavirus 1 (LdIV1), that was discovered persistently infecting this cell line. LdIV1 belongs to the genus Iflavirus. LdIV1 has icosahedral particles of approximately 30 nm in diameter and a 10,044 nucleotide polyadenylated, positive sense RNA genome encoding a predicted polyprotein of 2,980 amino acids. LdIV1 was induced by a viral suppressor of RNA silencing suggesting that acute infection is restricted by RNAi. We detected LdIV1 in all tested tissues of gypsy moth larvae and adults but the virus was absent from other L. dispar – derived cell lines. We confirmed LdIV1 infectivity in two of these cell lines (IPLB-LD-652 and IPLB-LdFB). Our results provide a novel system to explore persistent infections in lepidopterans and a new model for the study of iflaviruses, a rapidly expanding group; many of which covertly infect their hosts.