Virologica Sinica

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 345–358 | Cite as

Insights into the Temporal Gene Expression Pattern in Lymantria dispar Larvae During the Baculovirus Induced Hyperactive Stage

  • Upendra Raj Bhattarai
  • Mandira Katuwal Bhattarai
  • Fengjiao Li
  • Dun Wang
Research Article


Baculoviruses are effective biological control agents for many insect pests. They not only efficiently challenge the host immune system but also make them hyperactive for better virus dispersal. Some investigations have focused on the viral mechanisms for induction of such altered response from the host. However, there are no current studies monitoring changes in gene expression during this altered phenotype in infected larvae. The L. dispar multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (LdMNPV) induces hyperactivity in third instar L. dispar larvae at 3-days post infection (dpi), to continued till 6 dpi. The transcriptome profiles of the infected and uninfected larvae at these time points were analyzed to provide new clues on the response of the larvae towards infection during hyperactivity. Gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed, most of the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were involved in proteolysis, extracellular region, and serine-type endopeptidase activity. Similarly, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genome enrichment analysis showed maximum enrichment of 487 genes of the signal transduction category and neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction sub-category with 85 annotated genes. In addition, enrichment map visualization of gene set enrichment analysis showed the coordinated response of neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction genes with other functional gene sets, as an important signal transduction mechanism during the hyperactive stage. Interestingly all the DEGs in neuroactive ligand–receptor interactions were serine proteases, their differential expression during the hyperactive stage correlated with their conceivable involvement in disease progression and the resulting altered phenotype during this period. The outcome provides a basic understanding of L. dispar larval responses to LdMNPV infection during the hyperactive stage and helps to determine the important host factors involved in this process.


Gypsy moth Lymantria dispar multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (LdMNPV) Hyperactivity Gene expression pattern 



We thank Professor Liang-Jian Qu from the Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China, for generously providing gypsy moth eggs and LdMNPV. We also thank Dr. Huan Yu from Hunan Agricultural University for her inputs during experimental design. We would like to acknowledge Professor Christopher Rensing from Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University and Asst. Professor Dr. Xiangfeng Jing from Northwest A&F University for reviewing the manuscript. This study was supported by NSFC Grant (31670659), Special Fund for Forest Scientific Research in the Public Welfare (201404403-09) and Shaanxi Provincial Science and Technology Innovation Project (2014KTCL02-14).

Author Contributions

Research design by DW, URB, the experiments were conducted by MKB, URB, LF, data were analyzed by URB, MKB, materials and lab conditions were provided by DW, Manuscript was written by URB, MKB, DW.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Animal and Human Rights Statement

All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

Supplementary material

12250_2018_46_MOESM1_ESM.docx (548 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 547 kb)


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Copyright information

© Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid AreasNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

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