Microplitis demolitor Bracovirus blocks the encapsulation response of pseudoplusia includens
Ballenger, Joseph Grey
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The insect immune system consists of two broadly overlapping subsystems. The humoral system consists of germline encoded factors present in the hemolymph, while the cellular immune system consists of several different classes of hemocytes. Insects use hemocytes to fight off foreign invaders by encapsulating them or killing them with reactive oxygen species produced by factors present in the hemolymph. Each response is very tightly controlled in a variety of ways. Few of these regulatory systems are well understood, and crosstalk is a common confounding factor. Microplitis demolitor Bracovirus (MdBV) encodes factors which target these regulatory systems to disable the humoral and cellular immune systems. However, the in vivo functions of these factors are ill defined. Thus, the objectives of the project under consideration are to: 1.) Determine if the decline in expression of surface mucins encoded by MdBV correlates with a recovery of the encapsulation response. 2.) Determine if the encapsulation response in vivo is disabled by changes in cytokine processing or signaling.