Genetic engineering of Helicoverpa armigera single-nucleocapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus as an improved pesticide

X. Chen, X. Sun, Z. Hu, M. Li, D.R. O'Reilly, D. Zuidema, J.M. Vlak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


The Helicoverpa armigera single-nucleocapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (HearNPV) has been registered and is commercially produced in China as a biopesticide to control the bollworm in cotton. However, the virus has a relatively slow speed of action. To improve its efficacy, recombinant HearNPVs were generated by deleting the ecdysteroid UDP-glucosyltransferase (egt) gene (HaCXW1 and HaLM2) or by inserting the insect-specific toxin gene AaIT in the egt locus (HaCXW2) of HearNPV using conventional recombination strategies in insect cell culture. The various recombinants remained genetically stable when cultured in HzAM1 insect cells. Bioassay data showed a significant reduction in the time required for all HearNPV recombinants to kill second instar H. armigera larvae. The LT50 of the egt deletion recombinants HaCXW1 and HaLM2 was about 27␏aster than that of wild-type HearNPV. The largest reduction in LT50 was achieved by inserting the gene for the insect-specific neurotoxin, AaIT, in the egt locus, giving a reduction in LT50 of 32␌ompared to wild-type HearNPV. The ability to genetically improve the properties of HearNPV as a biopesticide provides a further opportunity to develop this virus into a commercially viable product to control the bollworm in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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