Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Improving baculovirus infectivity by efficiently embedding enhancing factors into occlusion bodies.

Abstract

The relatively low infectivity of baculoviruses to their host larvae limits their use as insecticidal agents on a larger scale. In the present study, a novel strategy was developed to efficiently embed foreign proteins into Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) occlusion bodies (OBs) to achieve stable expression of foreign proteins and to improve viral infectivity. A recombinant AcMNPV bacmid was constructed by expressing the 150-amino-acid (aa) N-terminal segment of polyhedrin under the control of the p10 promoter and the remaining C-terminal 95-aa segment under the control of the polyhedrin promoter. The recombinant virus formed OBs in Spodoptera frugiperda 9 cells, in which the occlusion-derived viruses were embedded in a manner similar to that for wild-type AcMNPV. Next, the 95-aa polyhedrin C terminus was fused to enhanced green fluorescent protein, and the recombinant AcMNPV formed fluorescent green OBs and was stably passaged in vitro and in vivo. The AcMNPV recombinants were further modified by fusing truncated Agrotis segetum granulovirus enhancin or truncated Cydia pomonella granulovirus ORF13 (GP37) to the C-terminal 95 aa of polyhedrin, and both recombinants were able to form normal OBs. Bioactivity assays indicated that the median lethal concentrations of these two AcMNPV recombinants were 3- to 5-fold lower than that of the control virus. These results suggest that embedding enhancing factors in baculovirus OBs by use of this novel technique may promote efficient and stable foreign protein expression and significantly improve baculovirus infectivity.