Data from: Baculovirus infection triggers a positive phototactic response in caterpillars to induce ‘tree-top’ disease

Stineke Van Houte, Monique M. Van Oers, Han Yue, Just M. Vlak, Vera I.D. Ros, Y. Han & V. I. D. Ros
Many parasites manipulate host behaviour to enhance parasite transmission and survival. A fascinating example is baculoviruses, which often induce death in caterpillar hosts at elevated positions (‘tree-top’ disease). To date, little is known about the underlying processes leading to this adaptive host manipulation. Here, we show that the baculovirus Spodoptera exigua multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV) triggers a positive phototactic response in S. exigua larvae prior to death and causes the caterpillars to die at elevated positions....
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