Virions consist of an envelope, a core, and an internal lipid membrane associated with the inner particle. Virion can be bacilliform, ovoidal or allantoid in shape, mesuring about 130 nm in diameter, by 200-400 nm in length. Contains at least 15 different proteins.


Circular, dsDNA genome of 156-186 kb. The genome contains two tandem of inverted repeats.


Encode for up to 180 open reading frames.



  1. Attachment of the viral proteins to host receptors mediates endocytosis of the virus into the host cell.
  2. Fusion with the plasma membrane occurs; and the viral DNA is released into the nucleus.
  3. Transcription of viral genes, replication of the DNA genome in the nucleus.
  4. Cell nucleus enlarges and ruptures.
  5. Assembly of new virions in the cytoplasm.
  6. Host cell is cleaved in cluster of virion-containing vesicles.

Host-virus interaction

Apoptosis modulation

The Spodoptera frugiperda ascovirus encodes a viral caspase that is able to induce apoptosis in insect cells.

Matching UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot entries

34 entries grouped by strain (browse by keywords)

12 entries

Heliothis virescens ascovirus 3e (HvAV-3e) reference strain

ESTE_HVAVE Putative esterase (EC 3.1.1.-)
HELI1_HVAVE Putative ATP-dependent RNA helicase (EC
Y058_HVAVE Uncharacterized protein ORF58
Y057_HVAVE Uncharacterized protein ORF57
Y059_HVAVE Uncharacterized protein ORF59
Y146_HVAVE Putative structural protein ORF146
Y017_HVAVE Uncharacterized protein ORF17
Y018_HVAVE Uncharacterized protein ORF18
MMP_HVAVE Putative matrix metalloproteinase (EC 3.4.24.-)
CSPL_HVAVE Caspase-like protein
CAPSD_HVAVE Major capsid protein
DPOL_HVAVE DNA polymerase (EC

11 entries

Spodoptera frugiperda ascovirus 1a (SfAV-1a) reference strain

HELI1_SFAVA Putative ATP-dependent RNA helicase (EC
ESTE_SFAVA Putative esterase (EC 3.1.1.-)
DPOL_SFAVA DNA polymerase (EC
Y012_SFAVA Uncharacterized protein ORF12
Y011_SFAVA Uncharacterized protein ORF11
Y042_SFAVA Uncharacterized protein ORF42
Y043_SFAVA Uncharacterized protein ORF43
Y084_SFAVA Putative structural protein ORF84
MMP_SFAVA Putative matrix metalloproteinase (EC 3.4.24.-)
CASP_SFAVA Executioner caspase (EC 3.4.22.-)
CAPSD_SFAVA Major capsid protein

11 entries

Trichoplusia ni ascovirus 2c (TnAV-2c) reference strain

DPOL_TNAVC DNA polymerase (EC
MMP_TNAVC Putative matrix metalloproteinase (EC 3.4.24.-)
HELI1_TNAVC Putative ATP-dependent RNA helicase (EC
Y148_TNAVC Uncharacterized protein ORF148
Y142_TNAVC Structural protein ORF142
Y147_TNAVC Structural protein ORF147
Y149_TNAVC Uncharacterized protein ORF149
Y043_TNAVC Structural protein ORF43
Y150_TNAVC Uncharacterized protein ORF150
CSPL_TNAVC Caspase-like protein
CAPSD_TNAVC Major capsid protein