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Baculovirus and dsRNA induce Hemolin, but no antibacterial activity, in Antheraea pernyi


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    Present addresses: Department of Medical Zoology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, 329–0498, JAPAN; †Dalian Institute of Biotechnology, Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Science, Liaoning province, P.R. CHINA.

    ‡New department title from 2004, Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology.

Ingrid Faye, Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm University, SE- 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel.: +46 8 16 12 72; fax: +46 8 16 43 15; e-mail:


Hemolin is one of the haemolymph proteins most strongly induced upon bacterial infection in Lepidoptera. When we applied RNA interference (RNAi) to suppress Hemolin expression in the Chinese oak silk moth Antheraea pernyi, we discovered that Hemolin is induced by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) per se. As dsRNA is recognized as a virus pattern molecule, we then investigated the effect of a baculovirus (ApNPV) infection. We found that Hemolin is induced and expressed with similar kinetics as upon dsRNA injection. Notably, no Attacin gene expression or antibacterial activity was recorded. When baculovirus and high amounts of dsRNA were coinjected, the viral symptoms appeared earlier with Hemolin dsRNA than with GFP dsRNA. This indicates that silencing of hemolin affected the progress of the viral infection.