Venom proteins of the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis: recent discovery of an untapped pharmacopee

Toxins (Basel). 2010 Apr;2(4):494-516. doi: 10.3390/toxins2040494. Epub 2010 Mar 30.


Adult females of Nasonia vitripennis inject a venomous mixture into its host flies prior to oviposition. Recently, the entire genome of this ectoparasitoid wasp was sequenced, enabling the identification of 79 venom proteins. The next challenge will be to unravel their specific functions, but based on homolog studies, some predictions already can be made. Parasitization has an enormous impact on hosts physiology of which five major effects are discussed in this review: the impact on immune responses, induction of developmental arrest, increases in lipid levels, apoptosis and nutrient releases. The value of deciphering this venom is also discussed.

Keywords: Nasonia; apoptosis; coagulation; development; immunity; lipid; nutrient; phenoloxidase; venom.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Diptera / immunology
  • Diptera / parasitology*
  • Diptera / physiology
  • Female
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Insect Proteins / toxicity*
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / metabolism
  • Wasp Venoms / toxicity*
  • Wasps


  • Insect Proteins
  • Wasp Venoms
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase