Transfer of a chromosomal Maverick to endogenous bracovirus in a parasitoid wasp
Bracoviruses are used by parasitoid wasps to allow development of their progeny within the body of lepidopteran hosts. In parasitoid wasps, the bracovirus exists as a provirus, integrated in a wasp chromosome. Viral replication occurs in wasp ovaries and leads to formation of particles containing dsDNA circles (segments) that are injected into the host body during wasp oviposition. We identified a large DNA transposon Maverick in a parasitoid wasp bracovirus. Closely related elements are present in parasitoid wasp genomes indicating that the element in CcBV corresponds to the insertion of an endogenous wasp Maverick in CcBV provirus. The presence of the Maverick in a bracovirus genome suggests the possibility of transposon transfers from parasitoids to lepidoptera via bracoviruses.