Introduction to the Baculoviruses
Of all the viruses known to mankind, baculoviruses are the most beneficial from an anthropocentric viewpoint. While other viruses are studied because they cause problems, the basis of modern baculovirology was stimulated by the potential utility of baculoviruses to control insect pests (see Chapter 13, this volume). The current use of baculoviruses as gene expression vectors (see Chapter 14) evolved from the molecular biology of baculoviruses, a research area pursued while assessing the safety and improving the efficacy of baculovirus pesticides. Basic molecular studies also led to the use of baculoviruses and their genes to explore fundamental questions in biology such as the nature and function of apoptotic pathways (see Chapter 10). However, baculoviruses also cause disease in beneficial species, not just pest species, and understanding what controls the host range of these viruses (see Chapter 9) will become even more important if a balanced ecological perspective displaces anthropocentrism.
KeywordsTransposable Element Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus Transposable Element Insertion Insect Virus Gene Expression Vector
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