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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #71463


item Hamm, John

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: A gonad-specific virus (recently discovered to cause sterility in corn earworm moths) has been suggested for use in suppressing field popultions of the corn earworm. This virus closely resembles a virus (previously described from a corn earworm tissue culture) that interferes with infection by the corn earworm nuclear polyhedrosis virus which is being used for control of corn earworm and tobacco budworm. Therefore, larvae infected with the gonad- specific virus were tested to determine if they were susceptible to nuclear polyhedrosis virus. In three of four tests there was no significant difference in susceptibility to the nuclear polyhedrosis virus between normal corn earworm larvae and larvae infected with the gonad-specific virus. Thus, the gonad-specific virus should not interfere with infection by the more virulent nuclear polyhedrosis virus.

Technical Abstract: A gonad-specific virus (GSV), an enveloped, rod-shaped virus, which prevents the development of normal ovaries and testes of Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) has been suggested for use in biological control of H. zea (Raina and Adams, 1995). Because the GSV resembles the Hz-1 virus which was described as a persistent infection in an H. zea tissue culture that inhibited infection by other viruses, this research was designed to determine if the GSV would interfere with infection of H. zea larvae by its homologous nuclear polyhedrosis virus (HzSNPV) which is currently being used in biocontrol of H. zea and H. virescens. In three of four tests, there was no significant difference in LC50 (i. e. the 95% confidence intervals overlapped) for HzSNPV in larvae from normal moths and larvae from moths injected with GSV. Surviving larvae from the GSV-injected moths produced 97.8 to 100% agonadal moths. This indicates that GSV does not protect agonadal larvae from infection by NPV. Thus, release of GSV into the natural population of H. zea should not interfere with use of the more virulent NPV for control H. zea.