Research Highlight

Gene clue to silkworm-infecting virus

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.110 Published online 12 August 2010

Researchers have characterized genome segments encoding the capsid of a virus that infects the Indian non-mulberry silkworm Antheraea mylitta. This could help scientists to understand the molecular mechanism of capsid formation during virus replication, and thus help to manage the spread of the virus.

The Antheraea mylitta cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus contains 11 segments of double-stranded RNA (S1–S11) in its genome. Although some of its genome segments (S2 and S6–S11) had already been characterized, genome segments encoding viral capsid had not yet been characterized.

The genome segments S1 and S3 were first converted to cDNA, following which they were cloned and sequenced. S1 was found to have 3,852 nucleotides and S3 a total of 3,784 nucleotides.

The cloning, sequencing and functional analysis of the genome segments showed that S3-encoded viral structural proteins could self-assemble to form a viral outer capsid, and that S1-encoded proteins formed an inner capsid to maintain stability.

The researchers say that further studies are required to understand the molecular mechanism of capsid formation.


  1. Chakrabarti, M. et al. Molecular characterization of genome segments 1 and 3 encoding two capsid proteins of Antheraea mylitta cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus. Virol. J. 7, 181 (2010) | PubMed |