Discovery of Corn Rootworm Viruses

Monday, September 28, 2015 - 4:10pm
Event Type: 

Seminar will be given by Dr. Sijun Liu from Iowa State University Department of Entomology.

Event will be held in E164 Lagomarcino Hall.

Abstract: Viruses are important insect pathogens and can be used as biological control agents for pest management. Viruses can also be developed into vectors for gene expression and toxin delivery. However, no viral sequences from corn rootworms (CRW) have been reported to date. In order to identify CRW virus sequences, we analyzed genomic DNA sequence data from southern corn rootworm (SCR), northern corn rootworm (NCR) and western corn rootworm (WCR), and RNA-seq data from WCR.  A novel nudivirus (double-stranded DNA, dsDNA virus) was discovered from NCR genomic DNA sequence data. The nudivirus sequences were also found in SCR and WCR. In addition, ascovirus-like sequences were identified from SCR and NCR DNA sequence data. From the contigs assembled from WCR RNA-seq Illumina reads, we identified 4 novel positive sense, single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses and 2 novel negative-sense ssRNA viruses. Our results demonstrate that multiple viruses infect CRW. The newly discovered viruses have potential for use in CRW management and for development of molecular tools for use in CRW research.

The ENT seminar series is coordinated by Greg Courtney and Rick Hellmich. Please contact either of us with questions related to speakers' visits.