MicroRNAs from Snellenius manilae bracovirus regulate innate and cellular immune responses of its host Spodoptera litura

Cheng Kang Tang, Chih Hsuan Tsai, Carol P. Wu, Yu Hsien Lin, Sung Chan Wei, Yun Heng Lu, Cheng Hsun Li, Yueh Lung Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


To avoid inducing immune and physiological responses in insect hosts, parasitoid wasps have developed several mechanisms to inhibit them during parasitism, including the production of venom, specialized wasp cells, and symbioses with polydnaviruses (PDVs). These mechanisms alter the host physiology to give the wasp offspring a greater chance of survival. However, the molecular mechanisms for most of these alterations remain unclear. In the present study, we applied next-generation sequencing analysis and identified several miRNAs that were encoded in the genome of Snellenius manilae bracovirus (SmBV), and expressed in the host larvae, Spodoptera litura, during parasitism. Among these miRNAs, SmBV-miR-199b-5p and SmBV-miR-2989 were found to target domeless and toll-7 in the host, which are involved in the host innate immune responses. Microinjecting the inhibitors of these two miRNAs into parasitized S. litura larvae not only severely decreased the pupation rate of Snellenius manilae, but also restored the phagocytosis and encapsulation activity of the hemocytes. The results demonstrate that these two SmBV-encoded miRNAs play an important role in suppressing the immune responses of parasitized hosts. Overall, our study uncovers the functions of two SmBV-encoded miRNAs in regulating the host innate immune responses upon wasp parasitism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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