Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #184898


item Raina, Ashok

Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/2006
Publication Date: 8/14/2006
Citation: Raina, A.K., Lupiani, B. 2006. Acquisition, persistence and species susceptibility of the Hz-2V virus. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 93:71-74.

Interpretive Summary: Earlier, we had discovered a novel virus, recently renamed as Hz-2V, infecting reproductive organs of both males and females of the corn earworm, rendering them sterile. In order to use Hz-2V as a biological control agent, it is important to know if this virus can be acquired by larvae during feeding, its persistence over time and susceptibility of other insect species. It is now demonstrated that Hz-2V can be acquired by corn earworm larvae while feeding on virus laced diet. Under laboratory conditions and with small populations, the virus did not persist for over three generations. Nine different species of insects were tested for susceptibility to this virus. Using molecular techniques and bioassays, it was shown that although Hz-2V can survive in some of the test species, it does not cause pathology similar to that caused in the corn earworm. This information will be valuable for promoting Hz-2V as a biological control agent for the management of corn earworm, a serious pest of corn, cotton and tomatoes.

Technical Abstract: Hz-2V, formerly called gonad specific virus, is known to infect the reproductive organs of both males and females of the corn earworm Helicoverpa zea, rendering these agonadal or sterile. The primary mode of transmission is through mating by asymptomatic carrier moths. In this report we show that Hz-2V can be acquired by first instar larvae, through feeding on virus laced diet, although the incidence of agonadal condition was significantly lower. In a laboratory study, the virus appeared to persist for no more than three generations, with the incidence of agonadal progeny decreasing with each generation. Although, Hz-2V has been reported only from H. zea, in our tests when nine species of insects were artificially infected, four of the Noctuid species showed some signs of agonadal condition. Out of the remaining five species, the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella and the German cockroach Blatella germanica, showed no evidence of the virus in progeny of adults that were injected with Hz-2V, even after using the very sensitive PCR based assay.