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Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 646524, 13 pages
Research Article

Pathology of a Gammabaculovirus in Its Natural Balsam Fir Sawfly (Neodiprion abietis) Host

1Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Atlantic Forestry Centre, P.O. Box 4000, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3C 2G6
2Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 6C2
3Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 2Y2
4Sylvar Technologies Inc., P.O. Box 636, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 5A6
5Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Room E2-376 Engineering, Information and Technology Complex, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 5V6

Received 23 July 2012; Accepted 20 October 2012

Academic Editor: Claude Desplan

Copyright © 2012 Christopher J. Lucarotti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Neodiprion abietis Gammabaculovirus (Baculoviridae: NeabNPV) is virulent, highly contagious, and infects only midgut epithelial cells of balsam fir sawfly larvae, but infections can carry through to adult sawflies in the midgut. Larval infections are characterized by hypertrophy of midgut epithelial cell nuclei, where virogenic stromata develop to produce nucleocapsids that are singly enveloped before occlusion into occlusion bodies. Infected, occlusion body-laden cells slough from the midgut epithelium as a result of a dissolution of the basal lamina. Infected cells undergo lysis, and viral occlusion bodies exit affected larvae in a watery diarrhea to infect other balsam fir sawfly larvae. A budded virus stage was not observed, but nucleocapsid and occlusion body formation resembled the development of occlusion-derived virions and occlusion bodies in lepidopteran alphabaculoviruses.