Submitted to: Mexican Congress of Microbiology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Baculoviridae is a group of viruses with the potential to provide active agents for effective biological insecticides. This group of biological agents includes both nucleopolyhedroviruses (NPV) and granuloviruses (GV), which as a group have shown activity against over 400 insect species. Formulation research has the potential to provide specific benefits to virus-based insecticides and improve the potential for successful commercial insecticide with ecological benefits inherent to these biological agents. Sunlight rapidly reduces insecticidal activity of virus applications and can reduce the activity of unformulated virus by 75% within the first day of field exposure. A lignin-based encapsulation is a formulation that is compatible with the virus insecticide system while providing protection from light degradation. Production of lignin-based microcapsules has been accomplished by spray drying lignin solutions that contain virus particles and a cross-linking agent. When lignin particles are eaten by a target pest, the alkaline conditions in the insect's intestine digests the lignin and releases the virus to initiate infection. Field experiments showed that a lignin formulation maintained insecticide activity of AfMNPV, which retained 70% of its insecticidal activity for 3 days after field application. Research such as this, to improve formulations of virus-based insecticides, improves the prospects of commercialization by extending residual activity to improve field efficacy.