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Selection of a nucleopolyhedrovirus isolate from Helicoverpa armigera as the basis for a biological insecticide

Authors

  • Maite Arrizubieta,

    1. Bioinsecticidas Microbianos, Instituto de Agrobiotecnología, CSIC-UPNA, Mutilva Baja, Navarra, Spain
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  • Trevor Williams,

    1. Instituto de Ecología AC, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
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  • Primitivo Caballero,

    1. Bioinsecticidas Microbianos, Instituto de Agrobiotecnología, CSIC-UPNA, Mutilva Baja, Navarra, Spain
    2. Laboratorio de Entomología Agrícola y Patología de Insectos, Departamento de Producción Agraria, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
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  • Oihane Simón

    Corresponding author
    1. Bioinsecticidas Microbianos, Instituto de Agrobiotecnología, CSIC-UPNA, Mutilva Baja, Navarra, Spain
    • Correspondence to: Oihane Simón, Bioinsecticidas Microbianos, Instituto de Agrobiotecnología, CSIC-UPNA, Gobierno de Navarra, 31192 Mutilva Baja, Navarra, Spain. E-mail: oihane.simon@unavarra.es

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

The cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, is an insect that causes damage in a wide range of crops in Spain. Seven isolates of H. armigera single nucleopolyhedrovirus (HearSNPV) from the Iberian Peninsula were subjected to molecular and biological characterization and compared with a Chinese genotype (HearSNPV-G4).

RESULTS

The estimated sizes of the Iberian genomes varied between 116.2 and 132.4 kb, compared to 131.4 kb of the HearSNPV-G4 reference genome. Phylogenetic analysis based on the lef-8, lef-9 and polh genes revealed that the Iberian strains were more closely related to one another than to other HearSNPV isolates. Occlusion body (OB) concentration-mortality responses (LC50 values) did not differ significantly among Iberian isolates when tested against a Helicoverpa armigera colony from Oxford (UK). Despite being the fastest killing isolate, HearSNPV-SP1 was as productive as isolates with lower virulence, with an average yield of 3.1 × 109 OBs larva−1. OBs of HearSNPV-SP1 and HearSNPV-G4 were similarly pathogenic against a recently established colony from southern Spain, although HearSNPV-SP1 was faster killing than HearSNPV-G4 against a range of instars.

CONCLUSION

The insecticidal properties of HearSNPV-SP1 mean that this strain is likely to prove useful as the basis for a biological insecticide for control of Helicoverpa armigera in Spain. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry

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