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.