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The complete genome sequence of a third distinct baculovirus isolated from the true armyworm, Mythimna unipuncta, contains two copies of the lef-7 gene

Harrison, R.L., Mowery, J.D., Rowley, D.L., Bauchan, G.R., Theilmann, D.A., Rohrmann, G.F., Erlandson, M.A. (2018). The complete genome sequence of a third distinct baculovirus isolated from the true armyworm, Mythimna unipuncta, contains two copies of the lef-7 gene, 54(2), 297-310. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11262-017-1525-0

Abstract

© 2017, This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply. A baculovirus isolate from a USDA Forest Service collection was characterized by electron microscopy and analysis of its genome sequence. The isolate, formerly referred to as Pseudoletia (Mythimna) sp. nucleopolyhedrovirus #7 (MyspNPV#7), was determined by barcoding PCR to derive from the host species Mythimna unipuncta (true armyworm) and was renamed Mythimna unipuncta nucleopolyhedrovirus #7 (MyunNPV#7). The occlusion bodies (OBs) and virions exhibited a size and morphology typical for OBs produced by the species of genus Alphabaculovirus, with occlusion-derived virions consisting of 2–5 nucleocapsids within a single envelope. The MyunNPV#7 genome was determined to be 148,482 bp with a 48.58% G+C nucleotide distribution. A total of 159 ORFs of 150 bp or larger were annotated in the genome sequence, including the 38 core genes of family Baculoviridae. The genome contained six homologous repeat regions (hrs) consisting of multiple copies of a 34-bp imperfect palindrome. Phylogenetic inference from concatenated baculovirus core gene amino acid sequence alignments placed MyunNPV#7 with group II alphabaculoviruses isolated from other armyworm and cutworm host species of lepidopteran family Noctuidae. MyunNPV#7 could be distinguished from other viruses in this group on the basis of differences in gene content and order. Pairwise nucleotide distances suggested that MyunNPV#7 represents a distinct species in Alphabaculovirus. The MyunNPV#7 genome was found to contain two copies of the late expression factor-7 (lef-7) gene, a feature not reported for any other baculovirus genome to date. Both copies of lef-7 encoded an F-box domain, which is required for the function of LEF-7 in baculovirus DNA replication.

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