The soybean looper, Chrysodeixis (Pseudoplusia) includens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is an economically important insect pest and a highly permissive host for the parasitoid Microplitis demolitor and its associated polydnavirus M. demolitor bracovirus (MdBV). Here we established a cell line from C. includens embryos designated UGA-CiE1 cells. CiE1 cells morphologically resemble granulocytes, which are a subpopulation of C. includens hemocytes. Antibody and RT-PCR analyses indicated that CiE1 cells express several molecular and functional markers that identify granulocytes. We further determined that CiE1 cells are permissive to infection by MdBV, exhibiting alterations very similar to MdBV-infected granulocytes, and Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrosis virus (AcMNPV). Combined with the ability to transfect CiE1 cells with high efficiency and knock down expression of viral genes by RNA interference, we conclude this cell line has several attributes of value for studying immune interactions with polydnaviruses and potentially other pathogens. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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