Biopesticides: Use and Delivery

Volume 5 of the series Methods in Biotechnology pp 341-355

Joint Actions of Baculoviruses and Other Control Agents

  • William F. McCutchenAffiliated withDuPont Agricultural Research Center
  • , Lindsey FlexnerAffiliated withDuPont Agricultural Research Center

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Baculoviruses are arthropod-specific viruses that have been utilized as biological control agents since 1930 (1). Several advantages are associated with the use of baculoviruses for pest control, including the host specificity and environmental compatibility attributes that offer major advantages over classical insecticides (2, 3). Because of these attributes, baculoviruses may be readily integrated mto an IPM program because they do not adversely affect beneficial insects and other nontarget organisms (2, 4, 5). However, the success of baculoviruses as biological control agents of insect pests has been widely variable. Over the past two decades, baculoviruses have been commercialized for the control of codling moth (Cydia pomonella), gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea), tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens), beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua), and the cabbage looper (Trzchoplusia ni) in the United States; the rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceras) in the Pacific; the velvetbean caterpillar (Antacarsia gemmatalis) in Brazil (68); and Spodoptera exigua and Cydia pomonella in Europe (9, 10). In addition, large scale control programs for periodic forest pests, such as the Douglas-Fir tussock moth (Orgyia pseudotsugata), Eastern Spruce Budworm (Chorzstoneura fumzjkana), and European pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertzfer), have been conducted in countries worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Poland, and the Soviet Republic (former USSR) (11). Although these materials have been used sporadically in the past, biological control agents currently account for <l% of the total msecticide sales, with Bacillus thurzngzensis making up the bulk of this percentage (12). Baculoviruses have never captured a significant msectlclde market share prlmarlly because of their mstablllty m the field and their relatively slow time to kill (13, 14).