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Development of a real-time qPCR assay for quantification of covert baculovirus infections in a major African crop pest

Graham, Robert I.; Tummala, Yamini; Rhodes, Glenn; Cory, Jenny S.; Shirras, Alan; Grzywacz, David; Wilson, Kenneth. 2015 Development of a real-time qPCR assay for quantification of covert baculovirus infections in a major African crop pest [in special issue: Parasite-insect interactions] Insects, 6 (3). 746-759. 10.3390/insects6030746

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Abstract/Summary

Many pathogens and parasites are present in host individuals and populations without any obvious signs of disease. This is particularly true for baculoviruses infecting lepidopteran hosts, where studies have shown that covert persistent viral infections are almost ubiquitous in many species. To date, the infection intensity of covert viruses has rarely been quantified. In this study, we investigated the dynamics of a covert baculovirus infection within the lepidopteran crop pest Spodoptera exempta. A real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) procedure using a 5' nuclease hydrolysis (TaqMan) probe was developed for specific detection and quantification of Spodoptera exempta nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpexNPV). The qPCR assay indicated that covert baculovirus dynamics varied considerably over the course of the host life-cycle, with infection load peaking in early larval instars and being lowest in adults and final-instar larvae. Adult dissections indicated that, contrary to expectation, viral load aggregation was highest in the head, wings and legs, and lowest in the thorax and abdomen. The data presented here have broad implications relating to our understanding of transmission patterns of baculoviruses and the role of covert infections in host-pathogen dynamics.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3390/insects6030746
CEH Sections: Parr
ISSN: 2075-4450
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: Spodoptera exempta, baculovirus, nucleopolyhedrovirus, covert infections, TaqMan real-time qPCR
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 25 Aug 2015 15:17 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/511586

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