Subfamily: Entomopoxvirinae

Genus: Alphaentomopoxvirus


Distinguishing features

The genus includes poxviruses that infect insects from the order Coleoptera and have been detected worldwide. The genus includes 7 virus species. Disease is characterised by whitening and flaccidity of larval stages.


Virions are ovoid, about 400–450 × 220–250 nm in size, with one lateral body and a unilateral concave core. Surface globular units give the virion a mulberry-like appearance and are 22 nm in diameter .

Genome organization and replication

The only complete genome sequence available is for Anomala cuprea entomopoxvirus (ACEV). The dsDNA genome is approximately 246 kbp, encoding an estimated 241 unique functional genes; the G + C content is 20%. The inverted terminal repeat sequences (ITRs) are approximately 23 kbp, much larger than those generally reported for chordopoxviruses. Whether or not these genomic features are representative of the genus is currently unknown. The ACEV genome includes the 49 genes considered to be conserved across the family Poxviridae, but their order is not colinear with that of the chordopoxviruses (Mitsuhashi et al., 2014). Of the 241 putative genes, 152 appear to be orthologues of genes in the other entomopoxviruses. The number of orthologous genes shared between ACEV and members of the genus Betaentomopoxvirus appears greater than between ACEV and the single member of the genus Deltaentomopoxvirus. This closer relationship is also supported by phylogenetic analysis of the spheroidin gene.

For replication, please see discussion under family description.

Species demarcation criteria

Species demarcation currently relies on host range. As more complete genome sequences become available gene content and synteny are likely to be used.