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A virus disease of the Indian rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros (Linnaeus), caused by a new type of insect virus, Rhabdionvirus oryctes gen. n., sp.n



A virus disease of the Indian rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros (Linnaeus), caused by a new type of insect virus, Rhabdionvirus oryctes gen. n., sp.n



J. Invert. Path, New York 8(1): 38-51



The following is virtually the author's summary. During investigations on the patho-logy of field populations of Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) in south-eastern Asia and certain islands of the South Pacific, larvae suffering from a virus disease were detected in Malaya. Signs and symptoms of this so-called Malaya disease are described. In diseased larvae, the fat-body is greatly disintegrated. Fat cells often show a striking proliferative response to virus infection. By differential centrifuging of suspensions of homogenized affected fat-body lobes, spherical viral particles with mostly polygonal contours and an average diameter of 164 +or- 16 m micro could be isolated together with a comparatively low number of virus rods measuring about 200 x 70 m micro . These viral sediments proved highly infective for larvae when inoculated into the body cavity. The same was the case with filtrates of homogenized fat-body of diseased larvae when filters with a mean pore size of 1 micro , 600 m micro and 300 m micro were used. Injection of filtrates passed through 100-m micro -pore filters had no apparent effect on the larvae, yet the emerging adults were crippled. Ultrathin sections revealed that the nuclei of the fat-body cells are the principal sites of virus reproduction, yet repeatedly virogenic foci could also be observed in the cytoplasm. In an advanced stage of cell infection, the hypertrophied nuclei contain crowds of single-or double-membraned spherical viral particles (shells), most of them ranging in diameter from 120 to 230 m micro (mean 160 m micro ), and, closely associated with them, masses of virus rods with a length predominantly ranging from 170 to 210 m micro (mean 195 m micro ) and an average width of 70 m micro . Both components are identical with the isolated spheres and rods. The virus rods, being the mature form of the virus, have a highly differentiated structure. They are established from dense chromatin-like virogenic stroma, from loose fibrillar and granular stromal material, from filaments and from inside the single- or double-membraned spherical particles (shells). Thus, the spheres represent viral develop-mental stages. The virus rods are not occluded in polyhedra or capsules of microcrystalline proteinaceous material, but clusters of rods may be densely packed in a two- or three-dimensional pseudocrystalline pattern. The disease was easily transmissible to third-instar larvae by contaminated food as well as by intrahaemocoelic inoculation. Death ensued in about 6 to 30 days. Peroral and intrahaemocoelic transmission of the disease to larvae of O. nasicornis (L.) was easily effected. The virus cannot be classed with any known group of insect viruses. Accordingly, it is placed in a new genus, Rhabdionvims gen.n., and named R. oryctes sp.n.

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Accession: 014327454

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PMID: 5905536


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