Indexed on: 16 Mar '05Published on: 16 Mar '05Published in: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
The satin moth Leucoma salicis L. (Lepidoptera, Lymantriidae) is a frequent defoliator of poplar trees (Populus spp.) in Europe and Asia (China, Japan). Around 1920 the insect was introduced into the USA and Canada. In this paper, a multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus isolated from L. salicis larvae in Poland (LesaNPV) was characterized and appeared to be a variant of Orgyia pseudotsugata (Op) MNPV. O. pseudotsugata, the Douglas fir tussock moth (Lepidoptera, Lymantriidae), occurs exclusively in North America. Sequences of three conserved baculovirus genes, polyhedrin, lef-8, and pif-2, were amplified in polymerase chain reactions using degenerate primer sets, and revealed a high degree of homology to OpMNPV. Restriction enzyme analysis confirmed the close relationship between LesaNPV and OpMNPV, although a number of restriction fragment length polymorphisms were observed. The lef-7 gene, encoding late expression factor 7, and the ctl-2 gene, encoding a conotoxin-like protein, were chosen as putative molecular determinants of the respective viruses. The ctl-2 region appeared suitable for unequivocal identification of either virus as LesaNPV lacked a dUTPase gene in this region. Our observations may suggest that LesaNPV, along with L. salicis, was introduced into O. pseudotsugata after introduction of the former insect into North America in the 1920s.