Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 433786
Title A baculovirus gene inducing hyperactive behavior in caterpillars
Author(s) Houte, S. van; Ros, V.I.D.; Oers, M.M. van
Event The 20th Annual Meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, Dublin, Ireland, 2012-06-23/2012-06-26
Department(s) Laboratory of Virology
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2012
Abstract Many parasites manipulate host behavior to increase the probability of transmission. To date, however, knowledge on parasitic genes underlying such behavioral manipulations is scarce. Here we show that the baculovirus Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) induces hyperactive behavior in Spodoptera exigua caterpillars at three days after infection. Furthermore, we identify the viral protein tyrosine phosphatase (ptp) gene as a key player in the induction of hyperactivity in larvae, and show that the phosphatase activity of the encoded enzyme is crucial for this behavioral change. Phylogenetic inference points at a lepidopteran origin of the viral ptp gene. Our study suggests that ptp-induced behavioral manipulation is an evolutionary conserved strategy of baculoviruses to enhance virus transmission. In addition, we show that larvae move downward after AcMNPV infection, which appears to be a ptp-independent process. Overall, these data provide a firm base for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind baculovirus-induced insect behavior.
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