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Genes involved in moth-parasitoid interactions identified

A team of researchers from the Australian Queensland University (St Lucia) have identified the genes expressed by the diamondback moth ( Plutella xylostella) when it is attacked by a parasitoid wasp, Diadegma semiclausum. Ichneumonid wasp eggs injected into host larvae are accompanied by a cocktail of maternal factors and symbiotic viruses, such as polydnaviruses (PDVs) ichnovirus, that suppress the host’s immune system and halt development at the pre-pupal stage. Although PDVs only replicate in the wasp reproductive tract, the expression of encapsidated PDV genes is able to affect the larval host.

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