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Detection and characterisation of three novel species of reovirus (Reoviridae), isolated from geographically separate populations of the winter moth Operophtera brumata on Orkney

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2006
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Issue number2
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)79-87
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Geographically separate populations of winter moth (Operophtera brumata L.) were sampled in heather habitats on the Orkney Isles in order to investigate the prevalence of virus pathogens. Reoviruses were isolated in 11 of the 13 winter moth populations sampled, with 3 novel species being detected. Two species of Cypoviridae (CPV) were isolated, Operophtera brumata CPV18 and O. brumata CPV19, with one host population suffering 46% infection prevalence of OpbuCPV19. A third virus, O. brumata Reovirus (OpbuRV), was isolated from both winter moth and a hymenopteran parasitoid wasp, Phobocampe tempestiva, which is abundant in these populations. This was identified as a non-occluded reovirus, which was clearly able to infect and persist in both the lepidopteran and the hymenopteran host. The genomes of the three viruses were characterised using gel electrophoresis and the virus structure was investigated using transmission electron microscopy. The relationship of these viruses with a baculovirus that also infects winter moth, OpbuNPV, was investigated, as well as the association of OpbuRV with P. tempestiva. The detection of such viruses is discussed with reference to studies of similar viruses in other lepidopteran and hymenopteran host systems.