John P. Burand

Associate Professor of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts


Ph.D.: Washington State University
Postdoctoral Training: Texas A&M University; Boyce Thompson Institute

Molecular Biology of Insect Viruses, and Insect Pathology

Many insect viruses offer a safe and environmentally sound alternative to chemical insecticides. These naturally occurring agents are quite often specific to particular target insects and do not infect plants or other animals. The full potential of insect viruses as microbial control agents has not been fully realized, however, due to the lack of information on their biology, ecology, and molecular biology. Research in my laboratory is centered on understanding more about the biology and the molecular biology of the interactions between these viruses and their insect hosts with the idea that this information can be used to improve them as microbial control agents. One research project involves developing a sexually transmitted virus as a microbial insecticide. This virus persists in the larval stages of insects and is then induced into productive replication in reproductive tissues causing sterility in adult moths. Not all virus-infected insects are sterile; however, some infected moths are fertile, asymptomatic carriers of the virus which are capable of transmitting the virus on to the next generation of insects. We are interested in determining what molecular events occur during virus replication in the host that lead to both productive replication, resulting in sterile insects and persistent replication, producing asymptomatic carriers.

Insect baculoviruses provide a safe eukaryotic system for the high-level expression of a wide variety of foreign gene products and are currently being used for the high-level expression of important proteins. My interests are in utilizing this system both as a tool to study gene regulation in insects and for the expression of protein products from other sources as well as genes from insects.

Representative publications:

Rallis, C.P. and J.P. Burand. 2002. Pathology and ultrastructure of the insect virus, Hz-2V, infecting agonadal female corn earworms, Helicoverpa zea. J. Invertebr. Pathol. (In Press).

Rallis, C.P. and J.P. Burand. 2002. Pathology and ultrastructure of the insect virus, Hz-2V, infecting agonadal male corn earworms, Helicoverpa zea. J. Invertebr. Pathol. (In Press).

Guttieri, M.C. and J.P. Burand. 2001. Nucleotide sequence and regulation of the p51 late gene of Hz-1V: identification of a putative late regulatory element. Virus Genes 23: 17-25.

Lu, H. and J. P. Burand (2001). "Replication of the gonad-specific virus Hz-2V in Ld652Y cells mimics replication in vivo." J Invertebr Pathol 77(1): 44-50.

Raina, A. K., J. R. Adams, B. Lupiani, D. E. Lynn, W. Kim, J. P. Burand and E. M. Dougherty (2000). "Further characterization of the gonad-specific virus of corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea." J Invertebr Pathol 76(1): 6-12.

D'Amico, V., J. S. Elkinton, J. D. Podgwaite, J. M. Slavicek, M. L. McManus and J. P. Burand (1999). "A field release of genetically engineered gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) nuclear polyhedrosis virus (LdNPV)." J Invertebr Pathol 73(3): 260-8.

Malakar, R., J. S. Elkinton, A. E. Hajek and J. P. Burand (1999). "Within-host interactions of lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: lymantriidae) nucleopolyhedrosis virus and entomophaga maimaiga (Zygomycetes: entomophthorales)." J Invertebr Pathol 73(1): 91-100.

Burand, J.P., (1998) Nudiviruses. In: The Insect Viruses (L.M. Miller and A. Ball, eds.), in press.

Burand, J.P. and Lu, H. (1997) Replication of a gonad specific insect virus in TN-368 cells in culture. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 70, 88-95.

Burand, J.P., Park, E.J. and Kelly, T.J. (1996) Dependence of ecdysteroid metabolism and development in host larvae on the time of baculovirus infection and activity of the UDP-glucosyl transferase gene. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 26, 845-852.

Guttieri, M.C. and Burand, J.P. (1996) Nucleotide sequence, temporal expression and transcriptional mapping of the p34 late gene of Hz-1 insect virus. Virology 223, 370-375.

Park, E.J., Yin, C-Y. and Burand, J.P. (1996) Baculovirus replication alters hormonal regulated host development. J. Gen. Virology 77, 547-554.