Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior LaboratoryTitle: The complete genome sequence of an alphabaculovirus from the brown tussock moth, Olene mendosa Hübner, expands our knowledge of lymantriine baculovirus diversity and evolution
Submitted to: Virus Genes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2022
Publication Date: 4/5/2022
Citation: Harrison, R.L., Rowley, D.L. 2022. The complete genome sequence of an alphabaculovirus from the brown tussock moth, Olene mendosa Hübner, expands our knowledge of lymantriine baculovirus diversity and evolution. Virus Genes. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11262-022-01899-4.
Interpretive Summary: Tussock moths (subfamily Lymantriinae) are a group of moths that are serious pests of trees and forests in the United States and elsewhere. An environmentally safe insecticide for control of a species of tussock moth (Lymantria dispar) has been developed from an insect-specific virus called a baculovirus. In this study, a different baculovirus isolated from the brown tussock moth, Olene mendosa, was examined. The genome sequence of this baculovirus was determined, and differences and similarities between it and other lymantriine baculoviruses were enumerated. The information in this study contributes to progress towards developing and improving baculovirus-based insecticides for tussock moth control, and will be of interest to those in academia, government, and industry who work with this group of insect viruses or with tussock moths.
Technical Abstract: The complete genome sequence was determined for an apparent alphabaculovirus isolated from larval cadavers of the brown tussock moth, Olene mendosa Hübner, collected during an epizootic in Coimbatore, India. The genome was determined to be a circular 142,291 bp molecule, and 147 ORFs and nine homologous regions (hrs) were annotated for the sequence. Analysis of the sequence confirmed that this virus, Olene mendosa nucleopolyhedrovirus (OlmeNPV), was a member of genus Alphabaculovirus in family Baculoviridae. Phylogenies inferred from nucleotide and amino acid alignments indicated that OlmeNPV was part of a group of viruses that infect moths of genus Lymantria, suggesting that OlmeNPV may have shifted hosts from a Lymantria species to an ancestral Olene species at some point during its evolutionary history. OlmeNPV was most closely related to Lymantria xylina multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus isolate 5 (LyxyMNPV-5), but the genomes of OlmeNPV and LyxyMNPV-5 were distinguished not only by differences in ORF content, but by a 27 kbp region of the genome that is inverted in LyxyMNPV-5 relative to OlmeNPV. Pairwise nucleotide distances between OlmeNPV and other Lymantria spp. alphabaculoviruses indicate that OlmeNPV represents a new baculovirus species.