Kavita Bitra

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Gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi) has revolutionized the study of gene function, particularly in non-model insects. However, in Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) RNAi has many times proven to be difficult to achieve. Most of the negative results have been anecdotal and the positive experiments have not been collected in such a way that they(More)
Polydnaviruses (PDVs) are symbionts of parasitoid wasps that function as gene delivery vehicles in the insects (hosts) that the wasps parasitize. PDVs persist in wasps as integrated proviruses but are packaged as circularized and segmented double-stranded DNAs into the virions that wasps inject into hosts. In contrast, little is known about how PDV genomic(More)
Recent studies have greatly increased understanding of how the immune system of insects responds to infection, whereas much less is known about how pathogens subvert immune defenses. Key regulators of the insect immune system are Rel proteins that form Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB) transcription factors, and inhibitor κB (IκB) proteins that complex with and(More)
The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors are present in animals, plants and fungi and play important roles in the control of cellular proliferation, tissue differentiation, development and detoxification. Although insect genomes contain more than 50 helix-loop-helix transcription factors, the functions of only a few are known. RNAi has become a(More)
Ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones (JH) regulate a variety of developmental, physiological, behavioral, and metabolic processes. Ecdysteroids function through a heterodimeric complex of two nuclear receptors, ecdysone receptor (EcR) and ultraspiracle (USP). An 85 kDa protein identified in Drosophila melanogaster methoprene-tolerant (Met) mutant binds to JH(More)
Proteins containing the basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) domain function as transcription factors and play important roles during the development of various metazoans including insects, nematodes and vertebrates. Insect genomes contain more than 50 bHLH transcription factors, but the function of only a few of these proteins in regulation of female reproduction(More)
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(More)
The polydnaviruses (PDVs) are a family of DNA viruses that are symbiotically associated with parasitoid wasps. The transcription of particular genes or gene-family members have been reported for several PDVs, but no studies have characterized the spatio-temporal patterns of expression for the entire complement of predicted genes in the encapsidated genome(More)
Polydnaviruses in the genus Bracovirus (BV) are associated with parasitoid wasps in the family Braconidae. BV-carrying wasps rely on their associated viruses to parasitize permissive hosts but also occasionally oviposit into host species that are non-permissive. Here, we studied Microplitis demolitor and M. demolitor bracovirus (MdBV) in Chrysodeixis(More)
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