Research ArticleLIFE SCIENCES

Recurrent DNA virus domestication leading to different parasite virulence strategies

Science Advances  27 Nov 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 10, e1501150
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501150

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Abstract

Relics of ancient infections are abundant in eukaryote genomes, but little is known about how they evolve when they confer a functional benefit on their host. We show here, for the first time, that the virus-like particles shown to protect Venturia canescens eggs against host immunity are derived from a nudivirus genome incorporated by the parasitic wasp into its own genetic material. Nudivirus hijacking was also at the origin of protective particles from braconid wasps. However, we show here that the viral genes produce “liposomes” that wrap and deliver V. canescens virulence proteins, whereas the particles are used as gene transfer agents in braconid wasps. Our findings indicate that virus domestication has occurred repeatedly during parasitic wasp evolution but with different evolutionary trajectories after endogenization, resulting in different virulence molecule delivery strategies.

Keywords
  • Microbiology
  • genomes
  • virus domestication
  • wasps

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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