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Genetic Variation and Biological Activity of Two Closely Related Alphabaculoviruses during Serial Passage in Permissive and Semi-Permissive Heterologous Hosts

1
Institute for Multidisciplinary Research in Applied Biology, Universidad Pública de Navarra, 31006 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
2
Departamento de Investigación y Desarrollo, Bioinsectis SL, Pol. Ind. Mocholi Plaza Cein 5, Nave A14, 31110 Noain, Navarra, Spain
3
Instituto de Ecología AC, Xalapa, 91073 Veracruz, Mexico
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(7), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11070660
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Pest Management)
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Abstract

Phylogenetic analyses suggest that Mamestra brassicae multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (MbMNPV) and Helicoverpa armigera multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (HearMNPV) may be strains of the same virus species. Most of the studies comparing their biological activities have been performed in their homologous hosts. A comparison of host range and stability in alternative hosts was performed. The host range of these viruses was compared using high concentrations of inoculum to inoculate second instars of six species of Lepidoptera. One semi-permissive host (Spodoptera littoralis) and one permissive host (S. exigua) were then selected and used to perform six serial passages involving a concentration corresponding to the ~25% lethal concentration for both viruses. Restriction endonuclease analysis showed fragment length polymorphisms in every host-virus system studied. In S. littoralis, serial passage of MbMNPV resulted in decreased pathogenicity and an increase in speed-of-kill, whereas no significant changes were detected for HearMNPV with respect to the initial inoculum. In contrast, both viruses showed a similar trend in S. exigua. These results highlight the low genetic diversity and a high phenotypic stability of HearMNPV with respect to the original inoculum after six successive passages in both insect hosts. This study concludes that host-baculovirus interactions during serial passage are complex and the process of adaptation to a novel semi-permissive host is far from predictable. View Full-Text
Keywords: host range; Spodoptera littoralis; Spodoptera exigua; genetic stability; insecticidal characteristics host range; Spodoptera littoralis; Spodoptera exigua; genetic stability; insecticidal characteristics
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Belda, I.M.; Beperet, I.; Williams, T.; Caballero, P. Genetic Variation and Biological Activity of Two Closely Related Alphabaculoviruses during Serial Passage in Permissive and Semi-Permissive Heterologous Hosts. Viruses 2019, 11, 660.

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