E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control"

Quicklinks

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. John Burand (Website)

Department of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
Phone: 413-545-3629
Interests: insect pathogenic viruses; virus: host interactions
Guest Editor
Dr. Madoka Nakai (Website)

Institute of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology – Saiwai, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan
Phone: +81423675695
Interests: insect viruses; virus: host interaction; insect pest microbial control

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Insects are responsible for nearly one fifth of the world's agricultural crop loses every year. With an increasing demand for high quality food, the future security of the world food supply depends on the development of safe, economical methods for protecting food crops from diseases and damage caused by insects. To date, organic chemical pesticides have been the primary method used to control insect pests; however, the environmental safety and negative impacts of these compounds on humans and beneficial insects including plant pollinators, has heighten concerns about their use. As infectious agents, insect pathogenic viruses including baculoviruses have long been recognized for their potential as environmentally safe pest control agents. Today with increasing concerns of the adverse environmental effects of many chemical pesticides and increased interest in sustainable methods for controlling insects, there is a renewed interest in the use of insect pathogenic viruses as microbial control agents. This special issue of Viruses entitled “Insect Viruses in Microbial Control” reviews the use of viruses as insect pest control agents in crop systems around the world and brings to the forefront both classical and modern methods employed to take advantage of viral pathogens to control insect pests. As such this work will serve as inspiration for the development and implementation of novel, environmentally sound methods utilizing insect pathogenic viruses in sustainable approaches for the control of insect pests.

Prof. John Burand
Dr. Madoka Nakai
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • insect virus
  • baculovirus
  • insect pest control
  • commercialization
  • insecticidal proteins
  • viral insecticides
  • field efficacy

Published Papers (10 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-10
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Development of a Recombination System for the Generation of Occlusion Positive Genetically Modified Anticarsia Gemmatalis Multiple Nucleopolyhedrovirus
Viruses 2015, 7(4), 1599-1612; doi:10.3390/v7041599
Received: 14 January 2015 / Revised: 12 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 31 March 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1774 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Anticarsia gemmatalis is an important pest in legume crops in South America and it has been successfully controlled using Anticarsia gemmatalis Multiple Nucleopolyhedrovirus (AgMNPV) in subtropical climate zones. Nevertheless, in temperate climates its speed of kill is too slow. Taking this into [...] Read more.
Anticarsia gemmatalis is an important pest in legume crops in South America and it has been successfully controlled using Anticarsia gemmatalis Multiple Nucleopolyhedrovirus (AgMNPV) in subtropical climate zones. Nevertheless, in temperate climates its speed of kill is too slow. Taking this into account, genetic modification of AgMNPV could lead to improvements of its biopesticidal properties. Here we report the generation of a two-component system that allows the production of recombinant AgMNPV. This system is based on a parental AgMNPV in which the polyhedrin gene (polh) was replaced by a bacterial β-galactosidase (lacZ) gene flanked by two target sites for the homing endonuclease I-PpoI. Co-transfection of insect cells with linearized (I-PpoI-digested) parental genome and a transfer vector allowed the restitution of polh and the expression of a heterologous gene upon homologous recombination, with a low background of non-recombinant AgMNPV. The system was validated by constructing a recombinant occlusion-positive (polh+) AgMNPV expressing the green fluorescent protein gene (gfp). This recombinant virus infected larvae normally per os and led to the expression of GFP in cell culture as well as in A. gemmatalis larvae. These results demonstrate that the system is an efficient method for the generation of recombinant AgMNPV expressing heterologous genes, which can be used for manifold purposes, including biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications and the production of orally infectious recombinants with improved biopesticidal properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Cryptophlebia Leucotreta Granulovirus—10 Years of Commercial Field Use
Viruses 2015, 7(3), 1284-1312; doi:10.3390/v7031284
Received: 1 December 2014 / Revised: 12 February 2015 / Accepted: 10 March 2015 / Published: 19 March 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1546 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last 15 years, extensive work on the Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus (CrleGV) has been conducted in South Africa, initially in the laboratory, but subsequently also in the field. This culminated in the registration of the first CrleGV-based biopesticide in 2004 (hence, [...] Read more.
In the last 15 years, extensive work on the Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus (CrleGV) has been conducted in South Africa, initially in the laboratory, but subsequently also in the field. This culminated in the registration of the first CrleGV-based biopesticide in 2004 (hence, the 10 years of commercial use in the field) and the second one three years later. Since 2000, more than 50 field trials have been conducted with CrleGV against the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta, on citrus in South Africa. In a representative sample of 13 field trials reported over this period, efficacy (measured by reduction in larval infestation of fruit) ranged between 30% and 92%. Efficacy was shown to persist at a level of 70% for up to 17 weeks after application of CrleGV. This only occurred where the virus was applied in blocks rather than to single trees. The addition of molasses substantially and sometimes significantly enhanced efficacy. It was also established that CrleGV should not be applied at less than ~2 × 1013 OBs per ha in order to avoid compromised efficacy. As CrleGV-based products were shown to be at least as effective as chemical alternatives, persistent and compatible with natural enemies, their use is recommended within an integrated program for control of T. leucotreta on citrus and other crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)
Open AccessArticle Field Efficacy and Transmission of Fast- and Slow-Killing Nucleopolyhedroviruses that Are Infectious to Adoxophyes honmai (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)
Viruses 2015, 7(3), 1271-1283; doi:10.3390/v7031271
Received: 6 January 2015 / Accepted: 11 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (706 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The smaller tea tortrix, Adoxophyes honmai (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is an economically important pest of tea in Japan. Previous work showed that a fast-killing nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) isolated from A. orana (AdorNPV) and a slow-killing NPV isolated from A. honmai (AdhoNPV) are both infectious [...] Read more.
The smaller tea tortrix, Adoxophyes honmai (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is an economically important pest of tea in Japan. Previous work showed that a fast-killing nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) isolated from A. orana (AdorNPV) and a slow-killing NPV isolated from A. honmai (AdhoNPV) are both infectious to A. honmai larvae. Field application of these different NPVs was conducted against an A. honmai larval population in tea plants, and the control efficacy and transmission rate of the two NPVs were compared. The slow-killing AdhoNPV showed lower field efficacy, in terms of preventing damage caused by A. honmai larvae against the tea plants, than the fast-killing AdorNPV. However, AdhoNPV had a significantly higher horizontal transmission rate than AdorNPV. These results show that AdorNPV is suitable as an inundative agent, while AdhoNPV is an appropriate inoculative agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Two Year Field Study to Evaluate the Efficacy of Mamestra brassicae Nucleopolyhedrovirus Combined with Proteins Derived from Xestia c-nigrum Granulovirus
Viruses 2015, 7(3), 1062-1078; doi:10.3390/v7031062
Received: 29 November 2014 / Revised: 8 January 2015 / Accepted: 2 March 2015 / Published: 9 March 2015
PDF Full-text (852 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Japan has only three registered baculovirus biopesticides despite its long history of studies on insect viruses. High production cost is one of the main hindrances for practical use of baculoviruses. Enhancement of insecticidal effect is one possible way to overcome this problem, [...] Read more.
Japan has only three registered baculovirus biopesticides despite its long history of studies on insect viruses. High production cost is one of the main hindrances for practical use of baculoviruses. Enhancement of insecticidal effect is one possible way to overcome this problem, so there have been many attempts to develop additives for baculoviruses. We found that alkaline soluble proteins of capsules (GVPs) of Xestia c-nigrum granulovirus can increase infectivity of some viruses including Mamestra brassicae nucleopolyhedrovirus (MabrNPV), and previously reported that MabrNPV mixed with GVPs was highly infectious to three important noctuid pests of vegetables in the following order, Helicoverpa armigera, M. brassicae, and Autographa nigrisigna. In this study, small-plot experiments were performed to assess concentrations of MabrNPV and GVPs at three cabbage fields and a broccoli field for the control of M. brassicae. In the first experiment, addition of GVPs (10 µg/mL) to MabrNPV at 106 OBs/mL resulted in a significant increase in NPV infection (from 53% to 66%). In the second experiment, the enhancing effect of GVP on NPV infection was confirmed at 10-times lower concentrations of MabrNPV. In the third and fourth experiments, a 50% reduction in GVPs (from 10 µg/mL to 5 µg/mL) did not result in a lowering of infectivity of the formulations containing MabrNPV at 105 OBs/mL. These results indicate that GVPs are promising additives for virus insecticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)
Open AccessArticle In Search of Pathogens: Transcriptome-Based Identification of Viral Sequences from the Pine Processionary Moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa)
Viruses 2015, 7(2), 456-479; doi:10.3390/v7020456
Received: 29 November 2014 / Revised: 29 December 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1928 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Thaumetopoea pityocampa (pine processionary moth) is one of the most important pine pests in the forests of Mediterranean countries, Central Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Apart from causing significant damage to pinewoods, T. pityocampa occurrence is also an issue for [...] Read more.
Thaumetopoea pityocampa (pine processionary moth) is one of the most important pine pests in the forests of Mediterranean countries, Central Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Apart from causing significant damage to pinewoods, T. pityocampa occurrence is also an issue for public and animal health, as it is responsible for dermatological reactions in humans and animals by contact with its irritating hairs. High throughput sequencing technologies have allowed the fast and cost-effective generation of genetic information of interest to understand different biological aspects of non-model organisms as well as the identification of potential pathogens. Using these technologies, we have obtained and characterized the transcriptome of T. pityocampa larvae collected in 12 different geographical locations in Turkey. cDNA libraries for Illumina sequencing were prepared from four larval tissues, head, gut, fat body and integument. By pooling the sequences from Illumina platform with those previously published using the Roche 454-FLX and Sanger methods we generated the largest reference transcriptome of T. pityocampa. In addition, this study has also allowed identification of possible viral pathogens with potential application in future biocontrol strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Complete Sequence of the First Spodoptera frugiperda Betabaculovirus Genome: A Natural Multiple Recombinant Virus
Viruses 2015, 7(1), 394-421; doi:10.3390/v7010394
Received: 28 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 December 2014 / Published: 20 January 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a major pest in maize crops in Colombia, and affects several regions in America. A granulovirus isolated from S. frugiperda (SfGV VG008) has potential as an enhancer of insecticidal activity of previously described nucleopolyhedrovirus from the same [...] Read more.
Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a major pest in maize crops in Colombia, and affects several regions in America. A granulovirus isolated from S. frugiperda (SfGV VG008) has potential as an enhancer of insecticidal activity of previously described nucleopolyhedrovirus from the same insect species (SfMNPV). The SfGV VG008 genome was sequenced and analyzed showing circular double stranded DNA of 140,913 bp encoding 146 putative ORFs that include 37 Baculoviridae core genes, 88 shared with betabaculoviruses, two shared only with betabaculoviruses from Noctuide insects, two shared with alphabaculoviruses, three copies of own genes (paralogs) and the other 14 corresponding to unique genes without representation in the other baculovirus species. Particularly, the genome encodes for important virulence factors such as 4 chitinases and 2 enhancins. The sequence analysis revealed the existence of eight homologous regions (hrs) and also suggests processes of gene acquisition by horizontal transfer including the SfGV VG008 ORFs 046/047 (paralogs), 059, 089 and 099. The bioinformatics evidence indicates that the genome donors of mentioned genes could be alpha- and/or betabaculovirus species. The previous reported ability of SfGV VG008 to naturally co-infect the same host with other virus show a possible mechanism to capture genes and thus improve its fitness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)
Open AccessArticle Progressive Adaptation of a CpGV Isolate to Codling Moth Populations Resistant to CpGV-M
Viruses 2014, 6(12), 5135-5144; doi:10.3390/v6125135
Received: 17 September 2014 / Revised: 4 December 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 22 December 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (567 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
The NPP-R1 isolate of CpGV is able to replicate on CpGV-M-resistant codling moths. However, its efficacy is not sufficient to provide acceptable levels of control in natural (orchard) conditions. A laboratory colony derived from resistant codling moths was established, which exhibited a [...] Read more.
The NPP-R1 isolate of CpGV is able to replicate on CpGV-M-resistant codling moths. However, its efficacy is not sufficient to provide acceptable levels of control in natural (orchard) conditions. A laboratory colony derived from resistant codling moths was established, which exhibited a homogeneous genetic background and a resistance level more than 7000 fold. By successive cycles of replication of NPP-R1 in this colony, we observed a progressive increase in efficacy. After 16 cycles (isolate 2016-r16), the efficacy of the virus isolate was equivalent to that of CpGV-M on susceptible insects. This isolate was able to control both CpGV-M-susceptible and CpGV-M-resistant insects with similar efficacy. No reduction in the levels of occlusion body production in susceptible larvae was observed for 2016-r16 compared to CpGV-M. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Baculovirus Insecticides in Latin America: Historical Overview, Current Status and Future Perspectives
Viruses 2015, 7(5), 2230-2267; doi:10.3390/v7052230
Received: 30 January 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2015 / Accepted: 23 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Baculoviruses are known to regulate many insect populations in nature. Their host-specificity is very high, usually restricted to a single or a few closely related insect species. They are amongst the safest pesticides, with no or negligible effects on non-target organisms, including [...] Read more.
Baculoviruses are known to regulate many insect populations in nature. Their host-specificity is very high, usually restricted to a single or a few closely related insect species. They are amongst the safest pesticides, with no or negligible effects on non-target organisms, including beneficial insects, vertebrates and plants. Baculovirus-based pesticides are compatible with integrated pest management strategies and the expansion of their application will significantly reduce the risks associated with the use of synthetic chemical insecticides. Several successful baculovirus-based pest control programs have taken place in Latin American countries. Sustainable agriculture (a trend promoted by state authorities in most Latin American countries) will benefit from the wider use of registered viral pesticides and new viral products that are in the process of registration and others in the applied research pipeline. The success of baculovirus-based control programs depends upon collaborative efforts among government and research institutions, growers associations, and private companies, which realize the importance of using strategies that protect human health and the environment at large. Initiatives to develop new regulations that promote the use of this type of ecological alternatives tailored to different local conditions and farming systems are underway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)
Open AccessReview Expression, Delivery and Function of Insecticidal Proteins Expressed by Recombinant Baculoviruses
Viruses 2015, 7(1), 422-455; doi:10.3390/v7010422
Received: 25 November 2014 / Revised: 6 January 2015 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 21 January 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the development of methods for inserting and expressing genes in baculoviruses, a line of research has focused on developing recombinant baculoviruses that express insecticidal peptides and proteins. These recombinant viruses have been engineered with the goal of improving their pesticidal potential [...] Read more.
Since the development of methods for inserting and expressing genes in baculoviruses, a line of research has focused on developing recombinant baculoviruses that express insecticidal peptides and proteins. These recombinant viruses have been engineered with the goal of improving their pesticidal potential by shortening the time required for infection to kill or incapacitate insect pests and reducing the quantity of crop damage as a consequence. A wide variety of neurotoxic peptides, proteins that regulate insect physiology, degradative enzymes, and other potentially insecticidal proteins have been evaluated for their capacity to reduce the survival time of baculovirus-infected lepidopteran host larvae. Researchers have investigated the factors involved in the efficient expression and delivery of baculovirus-encoded insecticidal peptides and proteins, with much effort dedicated to identifying ideal promoters for driving transcription and signal peptides that mediate secretion of the expressed target protein. Other factors, particularly translational efficiency of transcripts derived from recombinant insecticidal genes and post-translational folding and processing of insecticidal proteins, remain relatively unexplored. The discovery of RNA interference as a gene-specific regulation mechanism offers a new approach for improvement of baculovirus biopesticidal efficacy through genetic modification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)
Open AccessReview History and Current Status of Development and Use of Viral Insecticides in China
Viruses 2015, 7(1), 306-319; doi:10.3390/v7010306
Received: 1 December 2014 / Revised: 29 December 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2015 / Published: 20 January 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of insect viruses as biological control agents started in the early 1960s in China. To date, more than 32 viruses have been used to control insect pests in agriculture, forestry, pastures, and domestic gardens in China. In 2014, 57 products [...] Read more.
The use of insect viruses as biological control agents started in the early 1960s in China. To date, more than 32 viruses have been used to control insect pests in agriculture, forestry, pastures, and domestic gardens in China. In 2014, 57 products from 11 viruses were authorized as commercial viral insecticides by the Ministry of Agriculture of China. Approximately 1600 tons of viral insecticidal formulations have been produced annually in recent years, accounting for about 0.2% of the total insecticide output of China. The development and use of Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus, Mamestra brassicae nucleopolyhedrovirus, Spodoptera litura nucleopolyhedrovirus, and Periplaneta fuliginosa densovirus are discussed as case studies. Additionally, some baculoviruses have been genetically modified to improve their killing rate, infectivity, and ultraviolet resistance. In this context, the biosafety assessment of a genetically modified Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Their Use for Microbial Pest Control)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Viruses Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
viruses@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Viruses
Back to Top