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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Establishment and Characterization of Insect Cell Lines from Ten Lepidopteran Species

Authors
item Goodman, Cynthia
item El Sayed, Galal - UNIV OF MISSOURI
item McIntosh, Arthur
item Grasela, James
item Stiles, Brad - BASF AGRO RESEARCH

Submitted to: In Vitro Cellular And Developmental Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 2001
Publication Date: June 20, 2001
Citation: GOODMAN, C.L., EL SAYED, G.N., MCINTOSH, A.H., GRASELA, J.J., STILES, B. ESTABLISHMENT AND CHARACTERIZATION OF INSECT CELL LINES FROM TEN LEPIDOPTERAN SPECIES. IN VITRO CELLULAR AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. 2001. V. 37. P. 367-373.

Interpretive Summary: Pest insects cause billions of dollars of damage to crops in the U.S. annually. The use of baculoviruses (insect-specific viruses) as biocontrol agents is an effective means of controlling pest insect populations. These biocontrol agents are environmentally friendly because of their ability to only infect specific insect species, in contrast to classical insecticides which generally have some degree of toxicity to people and non-target organisms. Therefore, any means by which the production and application of baculoviruses can be optimized and made more cost-effective will encourage their use instead of that of traditional insecticidal chemicals. One viable means by which baculoviruses can be mass produced is in insect cells. For our studies, cells were cultured from selected insect species for use in baculovirus production. A total of 36 new cell cultures from 10 insect species and many different tissue types were generated. Many of the cell cultures were adapted to conditions normally used in baculovirus mass production schemes. Overall, some of the cell cultures that we developed may be useful for mass producing baculoviruses, which ultimately may encourage the marketing and application of these biological control agents. Additionally, our cell cultures can also be used by researchers to aid in the basic understanding of insects and to assist in the discovery of novel means of controlling them.

Technical Abstract: Cell lines from selected lepidopteran species were established for the overall purpose of use in baculovirus production. A total of 36 new cell lines from 10 lepidopteran species were generated, including cell lines from a pyralid, the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis, a plutellid, the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, as well as eight noctuids: black kcutworm, Agrotis ipsilon; celery looper, Anagrapha falcifera; velvetbean caterpillar, Anticarsia gemmatalis; corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea; tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens; beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua; fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda; and, cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni. Tissues used for cell line establishment included fat bodies, ovaries, testes, or whole embryos/larvae/pupae. All cell lines were subcultured numerous times, characterized by isoenzyme analysis and/or DNA amplification fingerprinting (DAF-PCR), and stored in liquid nitrogen. Many of the cell lines were adapted to serum-free medium, with cell lines from A. ipsilon and H. virescens being adapted to suspension culture using shaker flasks. The potential use for these cell lines in baculovirus production is discussed.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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