Showing posts with the label vision

A New Virus Turns Caterpillars Into Zombies Ascending Them to Their Death, Say Chinese Researchers

Researchers at China Agricultural University, Beijing, found a virus that manipulates the activity of vision controlling genes in caterpillars and turns them into zombies. The virus is also responsible for their deaths. Image credit: Pexels The cotton bollworm moth caterpillar ceaselessly climbs higher on the plant. When it reaches the top of the plant, it dies due to the spread of the virus in its body. This virus affects the functions of the genes associated with caterpillars' vision. As an outcome, these insects are more attracted to sunlight than normal. The virus involved in cotton bollworm moth caterpillar is a variant of baculovirus. " These viruses may have been evolving with their insect hosts for 200 million to 300 million years," said Xiaoxia Liu , an entomologist at China Agricultural University in Beijing. The baculoviruses can contaminate more than 800 insect species, mostly the caterpillars of butterflies and moths. These infected insects show "tree

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