Analysis of the genome of the sexually transmitted insect virus Helicoverpa zea nudivirus 2

John P. Burand, Woojin Kim, Claudio L. Afonso, Edan R. Tulman, Gerald F. Kutish, Zhiqiang Lu, Daniel L. Rock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sexually transmitted insect virus Helicoverpa zea nudivirus 2 (HzNV-2) was determined to have a circular double-stranded DNA genome of 231,621 bp coding for an estimated 113 open reading frames (ORFs). HzNV-2 is most closely related to the nudiviruses, a sister group of the insect baculoviruses. Several putative ORFs that share homology with the baculovirus core genes were identified in the viral genome. However, HzNV-2 lacks several key genetic features of baculoviruses including the late transcriptional regulation factor, LEF-1 and the palindromic hrs, which serve as origins of replication. The HzNV-2 genome was found to code for three ORFs that had significant sequence homology to cellular genes which are not generally found in viral genomes. These included a presumed juvenile hormone esterase gene, a gene coding for a putative zinc-dependent matrix metalloprotease, and a major facilitator superfamily protein gene; all of which are believed to play a role in the cellular proliferation and the tissue hypertrophy observed in the malformation of reproductive organs observed in HzNV-2 infected corn earworm moths, Helicoverpa zea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-61
Number of pages34
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Baculovirus
  • Corn earworm
  • Helicoverpa zea
  • HzNV-1
  • HzNV-2
  • Juvenile hormone esterase
  • Nudivirus
  • Sexually transmitted virus
  • Sterile insects
  • Virus genome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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