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This study investigated the function of endonuclease-reverse transcriptase (mjERT) in Marsupenaeus japonicus. The 1129 bp cDNA sequence of mjERT was cloned from M. japonicus using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) PCR, and RT-qPCR analysis indicated that mjERT was highly expressed in the gills and hepatopancreas of M. japonicus. We also found that white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) or Vibrio alginolyticus challenge could enhance the expression of mjERT. When mjERT was inhibited, immune genes such as toll, p53, hemocyanin and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were significantly down-regulated (P<.01) in the hemocytes of shrimp, while myosin was significantly up-regulated (P<.01). We demonstrated that mjERT is very important for the progression of WSSV infection and that the cumulative mortality of WSSV-infected and V. alginolyticus-infected shrimps was significantly increased following mjERT RNA interfere (RNAi). Apoptosis data provided information to suggest that mjERT-dsRNA challenge caused less apoptosis in hemocytes in both the disease-free and viral group. We also revealed that mjERT-dsRNA treatment resulted in a lower phagocytosis rate in the hemocytes of V. alginolyticus-challenged shrimp. Finally, we found that the absence of mjERT had an significantly negative impact upon shrimp phenoloxidase (PO) activity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and total hemocyte count (THC) following WSSV or V. alginolyticus infection, indicating a regulative role for mjERT in the innate immunity of shrimp in response to pathogenic infection. In summary, we concluded that mjERT might promote the anti-WSSV immune response of shrimp by regulating apoptosis, PO activity, THC and SOD activity, and also exert a positive role in the immune response against V. alginolyticus by regulating phagocytosis, SOD activity, PO activity and THC.The 1129 bp cDNA sequence of endonuclease-reverse transcriptase (mjERT) was cloned from Marsupenaeus japonicus.The mjERT is very important for the progression of WSSV infection.The mjERT knockdown significantly increased the mortality of WSSV-infected and V. alginolyticus-infected shrimps.The mjERT might promote the immune response of shrimp by regulating apoptosis, PO activity, THC and SOD activity.