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

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

11 entries

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

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

11 entries

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

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