Pathology and ultrastructure of the insect virus, Hz-2V, infecting agonadal male corn earworms, Helicoverpa zea

J Invertebr Pathol. 2002 Jun;80(2):81-9. doi: 10.1016/s0022-2011(02)00102-7.


The pathology of the reproductive tract of Hz-2V-infected agonadal male corn earworm moths, Helicoverpa zea, was studied. The examination of the reproductive tissues of adult agonadal males infected with Hz-2V during different lifestages allowed us to positively correlate the grossly malformed tissues of typical agonadal male moths to the corresponding normal tissues in uninfected males. The reproductive tissues responsible for producing sperm, a pheromonostatic peptide (PSP), and the spermatophore in normal male moths were absent or grossly malformed in the agonadal male moths. Hz-2V was observed replicating in one area of these malformed reproductive tissues in pharate adult males as early as 7 days post-pupation. Interestingly, reproductive tissues essential for initiation of copulation and transfer of reproductive fluids into a female moth during mating appear to be intact and may be functional. These data suggest that agonadal adult males are able to mate with healthy female moths and transfer Hz-2V particles, without fertilizing female moths or altering their sexual receptivity to further mating with other male moths.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Insect Viruses / ultrastructure*
  • Male
  • Moths / virology*
  • Testis / abnormalities
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testis / virology
  • Virus Diseases / pathology*