Virus Genes

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 444–456 | Cite as

The genome of Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus provides novel insight into the evolution of nuclear arthropod-specific large circular double-stranded DNA viruses

  • Yongjie Wang
  • Olaf R. P. Bininda-Emonds
  • Monique M. van Oers
  • Just M. Vlak
  • Johannes A. JehleEmail author


The Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus (OrNV) is a dsDNA virus with enveloped, rod-shaped virions. Its genome is 127,615 bp in size and contains 139 predicted protein-coding open reading frames (ORFs). In-depth genome sequence comparisons revealed a varying number of shared gene homologues, not only with other nudiviruses (NVs) and baculoviruses, but also with other arthropod-specific large dsDNA viruses, including the so-called Monodon baculovirus (MBV), the salivary gland hypertrophy viruses (SGHVs) and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). Nudivirus genomes contain 20 baculovirus core gene homologues associated with transcription (p47, lef-8, lef-9, lef-4, vlf-1, and lef-5), replication (dnapol and helicase), virus structure (p74, pif-1, pif-2, pif-3, 19kda/pif-4, odv-e56/pif-5, vp91, vp39, and 38K), and unknown functions (ac68, ac81, and p33). Most strikingly, a set of homologous genes involved in peroral infection (p74, pif-1, pif-2, and pif-3) are common to baculoviruses, nudiviruses, SGHVs, and WSSV indicating an ancestral mode of infection in these highly diverged viruses. A gene similar to polyhedrin/granulin encoding the baculovirus occlusion body protein was identified in non-occluded NVs and in Musca domestica SGHV evoking the question of the evolutionary origin of the baculovirus polyhedrin/granulin gene. Based on gene homologies, we further propose that the shrimp MBV is an occluded member of the nudiviruses. We conclude that baculoviruses, NVs and the shrimp MBV, the SGHVs and WSSV share the significant number of conserved genetic functions, which may point to a common ancestry of these viruses.


Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus Genome Monodon baculovirus Salivary gland hypertrophy viruses White spot syndrome virus Peroral infection Ancestry 



This work was supported by a grant of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Je245-7) to J.A.J. M.v.O. was supported by a MEERVOUD grant from the Research Council of Earth and Life Sciences (ALW) with financial aid from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) (Project 836.05.070). Dwight Lynn is acknowledged for helpful comments on the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongjie Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Olaf R. P. Bininda-Emonds
    • 3
  • Monique M. van Oers
    • 4
  • Just M. Vlak
    • 4
  • Johannes A. Jehle
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory for Biotechnological Crop Protection, Department of PhytopathologyAgricultural Service Center Palatinate (DLR Rheinpfalz)Neustadt a. d. WeinstrasseGermany
  2. 2.Laboratory of Marine and Food Microbiology, College of Food Science and TechnologyShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.AG Systematics and Evolutionary Biology, Faculty V, Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences (IBU)Carl von Ossietzky University OldenburgOldenburgGermany
  4. 4.Laboratory of VirologyWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Institute for Biological ControlJulius Kuehn InstituteDarmstadtGermany

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