Genus: Iteradensovirus

Genus: Iteradensovirus

Distinguishing features

These viruses are monophyletic and have similar genome sizes, genetic strategies, coding patterns, homotelomeric termini, and typical VP1-encoded PLA2 domains. Five species are recognized, which all contain viruses that infect insects from the order Lepidoptera.


See discussion under family description.

Genome organization and replication

Transcription is monosense, with one mRNA promoter positioned upstream of each ORF (Figure 1.Iteradensovirus). The nonstructural proteins NS1 and NS2 are encoded in separate ORFs, while the VP ORF gives rise to 4 size variants of the capsid protein using a leaky scanning translation mechanism. In contrast to members of the other 4 species, Bombyx mori densovirus 1 (BmDV1, species Lepidopteran iteradensovirus 1) has a 45 nt direct repeat in the intergenic region.

Figure 1.Iteradensovirus. Genetic strategy of Bombyx mori densovirus 1 (BmDV1), genus Iteradensovirus. The homotelomeric genome of BmDV1 is shown as a single line terminating in boxed J-shaped hairpin structures that are magnified relative to the rest of the genome. At each terminus TRs of 230 nt end in 159 nt hairpin structures (Yu and Tijssen 2014). Major open reading frames encoding proteins are shown as arrowed boxes, and coloured as in previous legends. Solid arrows represent transcriptional promoters; AAAAA indicate polyadenylation sites.


Natural infection appears confined to a single host species and replication is restricted to larval tissues. Since these viruses are pathogenic for pests of economically important plants, they have been studied as possible pest control agents. Infection typically prevents larvae from morphing into pupae, but monarch butterfly larvae remain active (although their pupae die and are a source of virus). 

Species demarcation criteria 

Viruses within a species are monophyletic and encode replication initiator proteins (called NS1 or Rep1, 68, or 78) that show >85% amino acid sequence identity. 

Member species

Exemplar isolate of the species
SpeciesVirus nameIsolateAccession numberRefSeq numberAvailable sequenceVirus Abbrev.
Lepidopteran iteradensovirus 1Bombyx mori densovirus 1HBAY033435NC_003346Complete genomeBmDV1
Lepidopteran iteradensovirus 2Casphalia extranea densovirusAF375296NC_004288Complete genomeCeDV
Lepidopteran iteradensovirus 3Dendrolimus punctatus densovirusAY665654NC_006555Complete genomeDpDV
Lepidopteran iteradensovirus 4Papilio polyxenes densovirusIAFJX110122NC_018450Complete genomePpDV
Lepidopteran iteradensovirus 5Helicoverpa armigera densovirusSDBH2010-1HQ613271NC_015718Complete genomeHaDV

Virus names, the choice of exemplar isolates, and virus abbreviations, are not official ICTV designations.