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Development of a Recombinant Baculovirus Expressing an Insect-Selective Neurotoxin: Potential for Pest Control

Abstract

Recombinant nuclear polyhedrosis viruses (NPVs) expressing insect-selective toxins, hormones, or enzymes could enhance their insecticidal properties. We have constructed a recombinant, polyhedrin-positive Autographa californica NPV (AcNPV) that is orally infectious and expresses an insect-selective toxin (AalT), isolated from the scorpion Androctonus australis, under the control of the p10 promoter. Bioassays with the recombinant baculovirus on 2nd instar larvae of Heliothis virescens demonstrated a significant decrease in the time to kill (LT50 88.0 hours) compared to wild-type AcNPV (LT50 125 hours). Production of AalT was confirmed by western blot analysis of larval hemolymph from infected H. virescens, and bioassays with larvae of Sarcophaga falculata.

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