Parasitoid Viruses

1st Edition

Symbionts and Pathogens

Editors: Nancy Beckage Jean-Michel Drezen
Print ISBN: 9780123848581
eBook ISBN: 9780123848598
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 30th September 2011
Page Count: 312
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Parasitoids are parasitic insects that kill their insect hosts in immature pre-reproductive stages. Parasitoids are employed in biological control programs worldwide to kill insect pests and are environmentally safe and benign alternatives to chemical pesticides. As resistance to chemical pesticides continues to escalate in many pest populations, attention is now refocusing on biologically-based strategies to control pest species in agriculture and forestry as well as insect vector populations that transmit human and animal diseases. Parasitoids are an economically critical element in this equation and ‘integrated pest management.’

Viruses have evolved intimate associations with parasitoids, and this book features sections on both symbiotic viruses that are integrated into the wasp’s chromosomal DNA (polydnaviruses) that play critical roles in suppressing host immunity during parasitism. A separate section with additional chapters on viral pathogens that infect parasitoids to cause disease and act as detrimental agents that limit effectiveness of wasp species employed in biological control of pests is also featured. A third component is a section on parasitoid venoms, which are of interest to the pharmaceutical and medical communities as well as insect-oriented biologists.

Key Features

  • Sections focus on both virus evolution and genomics as well as proteomics and functional roles of polydnavirus-encoded gene products
  • International researchers and emerging leaders in their fields provide readers with syntheses of the latest research
  • Includes content on both symbiotic viruses and pathogenic viruses, plus new research on parasitoid venoms
  • Cutting-edge section on future directions in the field covers the impacts of polydnavirus research on medicine, human health, bioengineering and the economy, increasing the value for researchers and practitioners who need to stay on top of the research in this swiftly moving field


Insect microbiologists, virologists, molecular biologists and geneticists; entomologists, pest management specialists, vector biologists, and biological control researchers and practitioners; the biotechnological, industrial, and medical communities; academic faculty and graduate/upper undergraduate students studying in these areas; research directors and laboratory scientists in basic and applied sciences.

Table of Contents

Parasitoid Virus Symbionts and Venoms

Jean-Michel and Nancy Beckage, editors

The Discovery of the Polydnaviruses and the Influence of Dr. George Salt

S. Bradleigh Vinson



1. The Origins and Early History of Polydnavirus Research

Peter J. Krell and Don B. Stoltz

2. Evolutionary Progenitors of Bracoviruses

Jean-Michel Drezen, Elisabeth Herniou, and Annie Bézier

3. The Organization of Genes Encoding Ichnovirus Structural Proteins

Anne-Nathalie Volkoff, Jean-Michel Drezen, Michel Cusson and Bruce A. Webb

4. Genomics and Replication of Polydnaviruses

Catherine Dupuy, Dawn Gundersen-Rindal, and Michel Cusson

5. Evolution and origin of polydnavirus virulence genes

Elisabeth Huguet, Céline Serbielle and Sébastien JM Moreau

6. Genomics of banchine ichnoviruses: insights into their relationship to bracoviruses and campoplegine ichnoviruses

Michel Cusson, Don Stoltz, Renée Lapointe, Catherine Béliveau, Audrey Nisole, A.-Nathalie Volkoff, Jean-Michel Drezen, Halim Maaroufi, Roger C. Levesque

7. Molecular Systematics of Wasp and Polydnavirus Genomes and their Co-evolution

James Whitfield and Jaqueline M. O’Connor

8. Integration of Polydnavirus DNA into Host Cellular Genomic DNA

Dawn Gundersen-Rindal

9. Unusual Viral Genomes: Mimivirus and the Polydnaviruses

Christopher A. Desjardins

10. Maintenance of Specialized Parasitoid Populations by Polydnaviruses

Antoine Branca, Catherine Gitau, and Stéphane Dupas


11. Polydnavirus Gene Expre


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© Academic Press 2012
Academic Press
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About the Editor

Nancy Beckage

Affiliations and Expertise

University of California, Department of Entomology, Riverside, USA

Jean-Michel Drezen

Affiliations and Expertise

Directeur de Recherche CNRS, Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte


"To avoid over use of pesticides, biological control programs employ the more environmentally safe alternative of parasitoids, which are insects that kill their insect hosts in pre-reproductive stages. At work are viruses that have evolved intimate associations with parasitoids<-->symbiotic viruses integrated into the wasp chromosomal DNA (polydnaviruses), and parasitoid venoms, which are of interest to the pharmaceutical and medical communities. The subject has been addressed in journals, but the editors perceived that this field was ripe for a book-length publication. Beckage (emerita; entomology, cell biology, neuroscience, U. of California- Riverside) and Drezen (insect biology, Université Francois Rabelais, France) enlisted 22 contributed chapters and arranged material in sections on parasitoid polydnaviruses<-->evolution, genomics, and systematics; unique attributes of viruses and virus-like particles associated with parasitoids; venoms; and the future<-->applications in agriculture. Academic Press is an imprint of Elsevier."--Reference and Research Book News, October 2012