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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #364447

Research Project: Urban Small Farms and Gardens Pest Management

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory

Title: A novel alphabaculovirus from the soybean looper, Chrysodeixis includens, that produces tetrahedral occlusion bodies and encodes two copies of he65

item Harrison, Robert - Bob
item Rowley, Daniel
item POPHAM, HOLLY J. - Agbitech

Submitted to: Viruses
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/21/2019
Publication Date: 6/26/2019
Citation: Harrison, R.L., Rowley, D.L., Popham, H.R. 2019. A novel alphabaculovirus from the soybean looper, Chrysodeixis includens, that produces tetrahedral occlusion bodies and encodes two copies of he65. Viruses. 11:579.

Interpretive Summary: The soybean looper is an insect pest of soybean crops in the southern United States and South America. The use of chemical insecticides agaisnt this moth has resulted in the development of insecticide resistance in soybean looper populations. Naturally occurring insect viruses have been used in the past to kill insect pests like the soybean looper without the problems associated with chemical insecticides, and an insect virus-based product is currently available for use against soybean looper in Brazil. In this study, the discovery of a new virus of the soybean looper is detailed. The insecticidal activity of this new virus against soybean looper was evaluated, and the features of its sequence and virus particles were characterized and described. This information will be of interest to those in academia, government, and industry who are trying to develop environmentally-friendly forms of insect control.

Technical Abstract: Isolates of the alphabaculovirus species, Chrysodeixis includens nucleopolyhedrovirus, have been identified that produce polyhedral occlusion bodies and infect larvae of the soybean looper, Chrysodeixis includens. In this study, we report the discovery and characterization of a novel C. includens-infecting alphabaculovirus, Chrysodeixis includens nucleopolyhedrovirus #1 (ChinNPV#1), that produces tetrahedral occlusion bodies. Bioassays were carried out to assess the pathogenicity and control potential of this virus against C. includens, and the sequence of the genome was sequenced and analyzed. In bioassays, ChinNPV #1 exhibited a degree of pathogenicity and virulence that was similar to that of other ChinNPV isolates. The host range of the ChinNPV#1 was found to be very narrow and was non-infectious to Trichoplusia ni larvae and six other tested noctuid species. The ChinNPV#1 genome was determined to be 130,540 bp, with 126 ORFs annotated but no homologous repeat (hr) regions found in the sequence. Phylogenetic analysis placed ChinNPV#1 in a clade with other Group II alphabaculoviruses from hosts of lepidopteran subfamily Plusiinae, including Chrysodeixis chalcites nucleopolyhedrovirus and Trichoplusia ni single nucleopolyhedrovirus. A unique feature of the ChinNPV#1 genome was the presence of two copies of the he65 ORF. The results indicate that ChinNPV#1 is related to, but distinct from, other ChinNPV isolates.