Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Plant and Environmental Science

Committee Member

Matthew W Turnbull

Committee Member

Michael S Caterino

Committee Member

Andrew S Mount


Some Parasitoid wasps rely on Polydnavirus to determine suitable hosts and complete their parasitization. Ichnoviruses (IV), one subfamily of Polydnavirus, are associated with Ichneumonids, have one highly conserved gene family named vinnexins. It has been demonstrated vinnexins are homologues of insect gap junction genes (innexins). However, their functions to the virus, parasitoid wasp and secondary host are not fully understood.

In my thesis, I have focused on two vinnexins, vnxG and vnxQ2, to investigate their effects on insect cell line and caterpillar using recombinant baculoviruses. I expressed vnxG or vnxQ2 in Sf9 cells and compared their influence on cell physiology. In addition, I expressed vnxG and vnxQ2 in Heliothis virescens caterpillars and focused on their alteration to hemocytes. In the end, I will discuss potential mechanism by vinnexins may function and play a role. Both in vivo and in vitro works will serve as a starting point for future research.



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