, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 415-427
Date: 14 Oct 2009

The Dicistroviridae: An emerging family of invertebrate viruses

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Abstract

Dicistroviruses comprise a newly characterized and rapidly expanding family of small RNA viruses of invertebrates. Several features of this virus group have attracted considerable research interest in recent years. In this review I provide an overview of the Dicistroviridae and describe progress made toward the understanding and practical application of dicistroviruses, including (i) construction of the first infectious clone of a dicistrovirus, (ii) use of the baculovirus expression system for production of an infectious dicistrovirus, (iii) the use of Drosophila C virus for analysis of host response to virus infection, and (iv) correlation of the presence of Israeli acute paralysis virus with honey bee colony collapse disorder. The potential use of dicistroviruses for insect pest management is also discussed. The structure, mechanism and practical use of the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements has recently been reviewed elsewhere.

Foundation item: This journal paper of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa, Project No. 6673, was supported by the Iowa State University Plant Sciences Institute, and the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research.