Studies requiring the introduction and expression of manipulated gene constructs have been technically difficult in non-drosophilid insects. Retroviruses can be engineered to be replication defective and to serve as vectors for gene constructs of interest. In this study, pseudotyped MoMLV(VSV-G) retroviral vectors are shown to successfully infect lepidopteran cells in vitro and in vivo. In Spodoptera frugiperda cells in vitro and in Manduca sexta in vivo, infection and conversion to proviral DNA were confirmed by PCR amplification and Southern blot hybridization of vector- specific sequences. Gene expression and integration of proviral DNA were also documented in vitro. This is the first report of retroviral infection in lepidoptera and suggests that pseudotyped retroviral vectors could be powerful tools in gene manipulation studies of non-drosophilid insects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Insect Science