Characterization of a cell death-inducing endonuclease-like venom protein from the parasitoid wasp Pteromalus puparum (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)

Jiale Wang, Zhichao Yan, Shan Xiao, Beibei Wang, Qi Fang, Todd Schlenke, Gongyin Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Parasitoid wasps are valuable natural enemies for controlling pests. To ensure successful parasitism, these wasps inject venoms along with their eggs that are deposited either into or on their hosts. Parasitoid venoms regulate host behaviors, development, metabolism and immune responses. Pteromalus puparum is a pupal endoparasitoid that parasitizes a number of butterflies, including the worldwide pest cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae. Venom from P. puparum has a variety of effects on host hemocytes, including alteration of absolute and relative hemocyte counts, and inhibition of hemocyte spreading and encapsulation. In particular, P. puparum venom causes hemocyte cell death in vivo and in vitro. RESULTS: Using assay-guided chromatography, a cell death-inducing venom fraction was identified and defined as P. puparum endonuclease-like venom protein (PpENVP). It belongs to the DNA/RNA nonspecific endonuclease family, which contains two conserved endonuclease activation sites. We analyzed its expression profiles and demonstrated that PpENVP inhibits gene expression in transfected cells relying on two activation sites. However, RNA interference of PpENVP did not significantly reduce P. puparum venom cytotoxicity, suggesting that PpENVP may not be the sole cytotoxic factor present. CONCLUSION: Our results provide novel insight into the function of the P. puparum venom cocktail and identify a promising insecticide candidate endonuclease that targets insect hemocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-233
Number of pages10
JournalPest management science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • PpENVP
  • Pteromalus puparum
  • cell death
  • cytotoxicity
  • encapsulation
  • endonuclease
  • hemocyte
  • venom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of a cell death-inducing endonuclease-like venom protein from the parasitoid wasp Pteromalus puparum (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this