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Journal Articles Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Year : 2021

Baculovirus infection affects caterpillar chemoperception


Baculoviruses are double-stranded DNA entomopathogenic viruses that infect predominantly insects of the order Lepidoptera. Research in the last decade has started to disentangle the mechanisms underlying the insect-virus interaction, particularly focusing on the effects of the baculovirus infection in the host's physiology. Among crucial physiological functions, olfaction has a key role in reproductive tasks, food source detection and enemy avoidance. In this work, we describe that Spodoptera exigua multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV) induces expression changes in some odorant receptors (ORs)-the centrepiece of insect's olfaction-when infecting larvae from its natural host Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Different ORs are up-regulated in larvae after SeMNPV infection, and two of them, SexiOR35 and SexiOR23, were selected for further functional characterization by heterologous expression in empty neurons of Drosophila melanogaster coupled to single-sensillum recordings. SexiOR35 appears to be a broadly tuned receptor able to recognise multiple and different chemical compounds. SexiOR23, although correctly expressed in Drosophila neurons, did not display any significant response to a panel of 58 stimuli. Behavioural experiments revealed that larvae infected by SeMNPV exhibit altered olfactory-driven behaviour to diet when it is supplemented with the plant volatiles linalool or estragole, two of the main SexiOR35 ligands, supporting the hypothesis that viral infection triggers changes in host perception through changes in the expression level of specific ORs.
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hal-03391202 , version 1 (21-10-2021)



Angel Llopis-Giménez, Gabriela Caballero-Vidal, Emmanuelle Jacquin-Joly, Cristina Maria Crava, Salvador Herrero. Baculovirus infection affects caterpillar chemoperception. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2021, 138, pp.103648. ⟨10.1016/j.ibmb.2021.103648⟩. ⟨hal-03391202⟩
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