Dec. 24, 2014
"Bioinsecticides produced from baculovirus have been very efficient to control agricultural pests, being capable to kill insects within four to seven days after the infection". The statement is from Maria Elita B. Castro, a researcher at Embrapa's Genetic Resources and Biotechnology unity in Brazil.
"In 1970, a first bacuolovirus-based bioinsecticide HzSNPV (Heliothis zea nucleopolyhedrovirus) was registered commercially (Virion-H, Biocontrol-VHZ, Elcar) and was widely used to control cotton pest in the United States. HaSNPV (Heliothis armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus), isolated in 1975, was also used successfully for over 20 year to control the earworm on cotton and other crops in China. Other products, mostly entomopathogenic bacterias, have been registered as bioinsecticides and used to control the pest," reminds the specialist.
She pointed out, however, that the appearance of insects resistance to several insecticides has shown "the necessity of the combined tactics to reduce the chance of survival of these insects. Facing this situation, institutions, private and state companies, including Embrapa, are promoting emergency actions involving researchers and experts on the issue aiming the technological development of effective bioinsecticides".
"The large scale baculovirus production has been conducted in in-vivo systems using insects, because they require the presence of original host (insects) for multiplication. In a simple and summarized way, the production of a baculovirus in a biofactory consists the host insect mass creation, followed by the infection and viral multiplication. These steps should be carefully controlled and monitored to maintain the appropriate conditions (temperature, moisture) for the insects creation, and to avoid a contamination with undesired microorganisms," she concluded.