First biopesticide for Chrysodeixis includens made with Baculovirus launched in Brazil
Jun. 29, 2020
By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
The control of soybean looper (Chrysodeixis includens) has gained a new and important solution with the launch of the microbiological insecticide, VirControl C.i. Developed in partnership with Simbiose Agrotecnologia Biológica and Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation – Corn and Sorghum Unit), it is the first baculovirus approved in Brazil for this pest, and features a formulation that does not need refrigeration.
Embrapa Milho and Sorgo researcher Fernando Valicente was responsible for researching ways of isolating the baculovirus, Chrysodeixis includens multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (ChinMNPV), from the environment. “It performed the best in terms of mortality, because you can achieve an accumulated mortality of 100% in a virus isolate, but it has an isolate that takes longer to kill. This was the most efficient and impressive performance”, said Valicente, who is considered to be one of world’s leading authorities on the subject.
He added that Simbiose contacted Embrapa to search for a baculovirus for soybean looper, which is one of the major pests that attacks the various species of plants grown in Brazilian agriculture, being a voracious defoliator, stressing, “After carrying out several tests, the best ChinMNPV isolate was passed on to Simbiose under contract by Embrapa, and they have now managed to register the product, which will be revolutionary.”
VirControl C.i also stands out for leaving nothing to be desired compared to conventional track control. “In all tests carried out, VirControl C.i attained a performance equal to or higher than conventional pest control products. After ingesting the product, the caterpillar eats less food, loses activity and dies days later,” he added.
According to Valicente, the biopesticide has very good visual outcomes, with several caterpillars being seen hanging from the bottom of leaves, proving its immediate effect.
“It is a product that I trust a lot and has a scale production strategy,” affirmed Valicente, who is a member of the Global Action Steering Committee for the Control of the FAO Cartridge Caterpillar (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization).
Regarding the formulation, he explained its advantage of not requiring refrigeration, as it is a wettable powder (WP) that lasts a long time. “In a closed area, such as darker warehouses with good ventilation, VirControl C.i lasts for a year without the need for refrigeration, which makes it much cheaper,” he further added.
Products that come from abroad require refrigeration and are valid for only a few months when placed at room temperature. VirControl C.i, on the other hand, has an initial validity of 12 months when stored at under 30°C. In other words, it is highly suitable in terms of storing crop protection products, so producers do not need to change their routines due to the technology.
Another highlight of the Simbiose bioinsecticide is the fact that it was developed in Brazil specifically for local tropical agriculture. “There is a specific process for this selection. When the ChinMNPV isolate killed 100%, it was sent to Simbiose and became the first biological product in Brazil for use against soybean looper,” he affirmed.
Marcelo de Godoy, General Director of Simbiose, stated, “VirControl C.i is an innovative technology for combating a plague that attacks many cultures in the country. VirControl C.i is a clean product, which does not cause harmful effects to non-target organisms, as well as to rural producers. We are sure that we are bringing an efficient technology with differentiated benefits, providing a new management tool to combat the pest.”
He added that the VirControl C.i technology will already be available in the 2020/2021 harvest throughout the national territory. “Without a doubt, biological control is a tool that will add to the fight against the pest. In addition, it is an integrated management tool that will assist in maintaining the effectiveness of existing molecules,” he said.
De Godoy noted that the launch of VirControl C.i will cause an increase in Simbiose's investments and generate jobs that will help boost the country's economy. However, he stressed that the evolution will not stop there. “The Simbiose Group, together with Embrapa, has already launched three technologies in the Brazilian and Paraguayan markets. In addition, we are looking forward to launching more products under this partnership in the coming years,” he said.
He also revealed that the group is still preparing new investments in the area of innovation, for example, a research and development complex. “It will undoubtedly be one of the most modern in Brazil. In addition, we are in full commercial and industrial expansion, as well as in the development of new technologies for rural producers. Currently, we are looking for new markets outside Brazil, mainly in South America, North America and Europe”, he said in conclusion.
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