Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/7/2005
Publication Date: 4/7/2005
Citation: Becnel, J.J. 2005. Prospects of cuninpv for mosquito control. Meeting Abstract. Interpretive Summary: None.
Technical Abstract: Baculoviruses have been intensively investigated due to their potential as biological control agents for insects and because of their importance as gene expression vectors. Mosquito baculoviruses have been difficult if not impossible to transmit and therefore basic biological studies have been hindered. A new baculovirus has been discovered that caused repeated and extended epizootics in field populations of Culex nigripalpus and Culex quinquefasciatus. Attempts to transmit this baculovirus to larvae in the laboratory were unsuccessful. A salt mixture similar to that found in water supporting infection in the field was used in laboratory bioassays and indicated that certain salts were crucial to transmission. Investigations revealed that transmission is mediated by divalent cations: magnesium is essential, whereas the presence of calcium inhibits the activity of magnesium to mediate transmission. These investigations demonstrating the role of magnesium and calcium in facilitating infectivity of the CuniNPV baculovirus has direct and important implications for utilizing baculoviruses for mosquito control. Development of mosquito baculoviruses as a new type of biopesticide requires the microencapsulation of the virus and magnesium into a formulated product. This new insight on transmission may facilitate the discovery and development of additional baculoviruses for the control of other important mosquito vectors.