We describe a point mutation in the Ac MNPV polyhedrin gene that produces abnormally large cubic polyhedra in packaging cell lines. A polyhedrin mutant baculovirus in which the single change E44G was introduced confirmed that this mutation and no other alterations in the Ac MNPV genome was responsible for the abnormal phenotype. Although baculoviral VP39 protein was detected inside mutant polyhedra, electron microscopy demonstrated that only a proportion of the large crystals allow occlusion of virions. When compared with wild-type polyhedra, the mutant inoculum showed reduced oral infectivity for Rachiplusia nu larvae. Hence, the amino acid 44 substitution in the Ac MNPV polyhedrin protein alters polyhedrin assembly and affects viral occlusion and infectivity.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2011
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