Microplitis demolitor


Microplitis demolitor is a parasitoid wasp in the hymenopteran family Braconidae. It is native to eastern Australia but has been introduced into the United States as a biological control agent [1]. M. demolitor parasitizes several species of Lepidoptera that are important agricultural pests including Helicoverpa punctigera, H. armigera, and Chrysodeixis includens [1,2]. Female M. demolitor parasitize the larval stage of host species by laying one or more eggs into the body cavity (hemocoel). After hatching, wasp larvae develop by primarily feeding on blood. Usually a single mature wasp larva emerges from the host in 7-8 days to spin a cocoon and pupate followed by emergence of an adult wasp several days later.

Like most Hymenoptera, M. demolitor is haplo-diploid with unfertilized eggs developing into males and fertilized eggs developing into females [3]. M. demolitor also belongs to a complex in the family Braconidae that carry symbiotic viruses in the genus Bracovirus [4]. M. demolitor bracovirus (MdBV) persists as a provirus in every individual while replicating specifically in females. Female M. demolitor inject MdBV into hosts when laying eggs. The virus thereafter infects different cells of the host larva and expresses genes that the wasp offspring rely upon for successful development [5].

References cited
1. Shepard, M., Powell, J. E., Jones, W.E. Jr. 1983. Biology of Microplitis demolitor (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), an imported parasitoid of Heliothis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) spp. and the soybean looper, Pseudoplusia includens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Environ. Entomol. 12, 641-645.
2. Microplitis demolitor and ascovirus: Important natural enemies of Helicoverpa. 2005. Queensland (Australia) Government Bulletin. ISSN 0727-6273 QI04079 (https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/__data/.../Insects-Microplitis-ascovirus.pdf).
3. Strand, M.R., Johnson, J.A., Culin, J.D., 1988. Developmental Interactions between the Parasitoid Microplitis demolitor (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) and Its Host Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 81, 822-830.
4. Strand, M.R., Burke, G.R., 2014. Polydnaviruses: Nature's Genetic Engineers. Ann. Rev. Virol. 1, 333-354.
5. Burke, G.R., Walden, K.K., Whitfield, J.B., Robertson, H.M., Strand, M.R., 2014. Widespread genome reorganization of an obligate virus mutualist. PLoS Genet. 10, e1004660.

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Image Credit: Copyright J.A. Johnson
Organism Image
Feature Summary
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Contig N50
Scaffold N50
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Image Credit
Copyright J.A. Johnson

Assembly Information

Analysis Name Microplitis demolitor genome assembly GCA_000572035.2
Software SOAPdenovo (2.04)
Source Microplitis demolitor strain Queensland-Clemson subculture, whole genome shotgun sequencing project
Date performed 2013-12-02
Materials & Methods Biological starting material: Strain from Strand laboratory culture, pooled whole individual adults.


Assembly Metrics
Contig N50 NA
Scaffold N50 1139389
GC Content 31.50