Main content area

A novel polydnaviral gene family, BEN, and its immunosuppressive function in larvae of Plutella xylostella parasitized by Cotesia plutellae

Ramjan Ali, Md., Kim, Yonggyun
Journal of invertebrate pathology 2012 v.110 no.3 pp. 389-397
Bracovirus, Cotesia plutellae, Plutella xylostella, digestive system, double-stranded RNA, fat body, gene expression, genes, hemocytes, instars, larvae, nucleotide sequences, parasitism
A full genome sequence of the episomal form of Cotesia plutellae bracovirus (CpBV) suggests 11 BEN family genes. This study analyzed their expression and physiological function in the viral host, Plutella xylostella. All 11 BEN family genes were expressed during entire parasitization period of P. xylostella larvae. In addition, these BEN family genes were expressed in fat body, gut, epidermis, and hemocytes in final larval instar of parasitized P. xylostella. The 11 BEN family genes were transiently expressed in nonparasitized larvae by injection of each viral segment containing its corresponding BEN family gene. The transient expression of BEN family genes significantly suppressed hemocyte nodule formation in response to bacterial challenge. Subsequent injection of double-stranded RNA specific to each BEN family gene suppressed the expression of the BEN family gene and rescued the immunosuppression. These results indicate that 11 BEN family genes are expressed in larvae parasitized by C. plutellae and play crucial role in inducing immunosuppression. Homologous BEN family genes were found in other bracoviral genomes. We propose BEN domain-containing genes as a new functional gene family in polydnaviruses.