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  1. Wayne, Marta (Ed.)
    Abstract The Ichneumonoidea (Ichneumonidae and Braconidae) is an incredibly diverse superfamily of parasitoid wasps that includes species that produce virus-like entities in their reproductive tracts to promote successful parasitism of host insects. Research on these entities has traditionally focused upon two viral genera Bracovirus (in Braconidae) and Ichnovirus (in Ichneumonidae). These viruses are produced using genes known collectively as endogenous viral elements (EVEs) that represent historical, now heritable viral integration events in wasp genomes. Here, new genome sequence assemblies for 11 species and 6 publicly available genomes from the Ichneumonoidea were screened with the goal of identifying novel EVEs and characterizing the breadth of species in lineages with known EVEs. Exhaustive similarity searches combined with the identification of ancient core genes revealed sequences from both known and novel EVEs. One species harbored a novel, independently derived EVE related to a divergent large double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) virus that manipulates behavior in other hymenopteran species. Although bracovirus or ichnovirus EVEs were identified as expected in three species, the absence of ichnoviruses in several species suggests that they are independently derived and present in two younger, less widespread lineages than previously thought. Overall, this study presents a novel bioinformatic approach for EVE discovery in genomes and shows that three divergent virus families (nudiviruses, the ancestors of ichnoviruses, and Leptopilina boulardi Filamentous Virus-like viruses) are recurrently acquired as EVEs in parasitoid wasps. Virus acquisition in the parasitoid wasps is a common process that has occurred in many more than two lineages from a diverse range of arthropod-infecting dsDNA viruses. 
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  2. null (Ed.)