Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/13/2011
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta was introduced into the U.S. between 1918 and 1945. Since that time, they have expanded their U.S. range to include some 138 million hectares. Their introduction has had significant economic consequences with costs associated with damage and control efforts estimated at 6 billion dollars annually in the U.S. In an effort to identify new microbial control agents for the fire ant, a metagenomics approach was employed and successfully resulted in discovery of three viruses infecting S. invicta. Solenopsis invicta virus 1 (SINV-1), SINV-2, and SINV-3 are all positive, single-stranded RNA viruses and represent the first viral discoveries in any ant species. Molecular characterization, host relationships, and potential development and use of SINV-1, SINV-2, and SINV-3 as biopesticides are discussed.