Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2008
Publication Date: 2/22/2010
Citation: Jackson, D.M., Lynn, D.E., Fuxa, J.R., Shepard, B.M., Shapiro, M. 2008. Efficacy of Entomophathogenic Viruses on Pickleworm Larvae. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology. 25:81-97.
Interpretive Summary: Pickleworm larvae are very destructive to a number of important cucurbit crops. This pest is difficult to control, and once a cucumber, squash, or melon is infested, it is ruined for commercial sale. Thus, a critical need exists for developing new biological pest management techniques for pickleworms, such as microbial agents. We evaluated several insect viruses for control of this pest. Initial studies were done on a cell line newly derived from pickleworm embryos. In these experiments, a virus isolated from velvet bean caterpillar showed the greatest activity toward the pickleworm cell lines. Next, 14 diverse insect viruses were evaluated in laboratory experiments with pickleworm larvae. Six of these viruses showed significant activity, and the virus from velvet bean caterpillar was the most effective against pickleworm larvae. This is the first report of the susceptibility of pickleworm larvae to viruses. These viruses could be further developed as control agents for this pest.
Technical Abstract: A critical need exists for developing new biological pest management techniques for the pickleworm, a major pest of Cucurbitaceae. Microbial control of this pest is a promising strategy, but such studies are limited. Thus, entomopathogenic viruses for control of this pest were evaluated in this study. Selected viruses were first bioassayed in vitro on cell lines newly derived from pickleworm embryos. In these experiments, a multiply-embedded nucleopolyhedrovirus (AgMNPV) from velvet bean caterpillar showed the greatest activity toward the pickleworm cell lines. Following these results, 14 entomopathogenic viruses in the families Baculoviridae, Reoviridae, and Iridoviridae were evaluated in vivo in bioassays of second instars, and six baculoviruses showed significant activity against pickleworm larvae. AgMNPV and a multiply-embedded nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) from alfalfa looper were the most efficacious against second instar pickleworms. Moreover, five of six stilbene fluorescent brighteners significantly increased efficacy of AgMNPV against this pest.