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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346329

Research Project: Sustainable Management Strategies for Stored-Product Insects

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Title: Invertebrate iridoviruses: A glance over the last decade

item Akulke, Ayca Zeynep
item Scully, Erin
item Ozgen, Arzu
item Ince, Ikbal Agah

Submitted to: Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Iridoviruses represent a large group of DNA viruses capable of infecting both insect and vertebrate hosts. While infections are often not symptomatic, some strains have been linked to severe symptoms that significantly host reduce fitness and are often associated with large-scale mortality. New iridovirus strains are continuously being discovered and it is often difficult to predict with certainty what impact these novel strains will have on their hosts. Here, we review the genomic features of insect and vertebrate iridoviruses and the viral factors linked with host interactions. Understanding how these viruses interact with their hosts may facilitate the identification of viral genes linked with more severe infections and allow us to more quickly identify strains that may be useful for biological control of insect pests.

Technical Abstract: Iridovirus is a genus of large dsDNA viruses that predominantly infects both invertebrate and vertebrate ectotherms and whose symptoms range in severity from minor reductions in fitness to systematic disease and large-scale mortality. Several characteristics have been useful for taxonomically classifying iridoviruses; however, novel strains are continuously being discovered and, in many cases, reliable taxonomic classification has been challenging. Further impeding classification, invertebrate iridoviruses (IIVs) can occasionally infect vertebrates; thus, host range is not a useful taxonomic marker. In this review, we discuss the current classification of iridoviruses, focusing on genomic and structural features that distinguish vertebrate and invertebrate iridoviruses and viral factors linked to host interactions in IIV-6. Understanding how IIVs interact with their hosts may facilitate the identification of virulence factors in vertebrate strains linked with more severe phenotypes. Further, due to the sub-lethal phenotypes, IIVs may serve as models for understanding pathogenesis.