The Viruses 1997, pp 341-387

Commercialization of Baculoviral Insecticides

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The commercialization of baculoviruses has had a long and checkered history. Early insect virologists were quick to see the potential of these highly infectious and selective pathogens. This, in addition to the safety of these agents, proved irresistibly attractive for the development of these viruses as insecticides. During the 1970s, the first baculoviral product was introduced into the commercial arena, Elcar [Helicoverpa zea nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV)]. This product was accompanied by three noncommercial preparations produced by the US Forestry Service, namely Gypcheck (Lymantria dispar NPV), TM BioControl-1 (Orgyia pseudotsuga NPV), and Neocheck-S (Neodiprion sertifer NPV). During these early days, products suffered from a variety of problems, including variable potency, high production costs, poor formulation, and generally inferior field performance when compared to chemical alternatives. Eventually, production of these viral insecticides ceased with the exception of Gypcheck.