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Chrysodeixis chalcites nucleopolyhedrovirus (ChchNPV): Natural occurrence and efficacy as a biological insecticide on young banana plants in greenhouse and open-field conditions on the Canary Islands

AuthorsFuentes, Ernesto Gabriel; Hernández-Suárez, Estrella; Simón, Oihane ; Williams, Trevor G.; Caballero, Primitivo
Issue Date27-Jul-2017
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 12(7): e0181384 (2017)
AbstractChrysodeixis chalcites, an important pest of banana crops on the Canary Islands, is usually controlled by chemical insecticides. The present study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of the most prevalent isolate of the Chrysodeixis chalcites nucleopolyhedrovirus (ChchNPV, Baculoviridae) as a biological insecticide. Overall the prevalence of ChchNPV infection in C. chalcites populations was 2.3% (103 infected larvae out of 4,438 sampled), but varied from 0–4.8% on Tenerife and was usually low (0–2%) on the other islands. On Tenerife, infected larvae were present at 11 out of 17 plantations sampled. The prevalence of infection in larvae on bananas grown under greenhouse structures was significantly higher (3%) than in open-field sites (1.4%). The ChchNPV-TF1 isolate was the most abundant and widespread of four genetic variants of the virus. Application of 1.0x109 viral occlusion bodies (OBs)/l of ChchNPV-TF1 significantly reduced C. chalcites foliar damage in young banana plants as did commonly used pesticides, both in greenhouse and open-field sites. The insecticidal efficacy of ChchNPV-TF1 was similar to that of indoxacarb and a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-based insecticide in one year of trials and similar to Bt in the following year of trails in greenhouse and field crops. However, larvae collected at different time intervals following virus treatments and reared in the laboratory experienced 2–7 fold more mortality than insects from conventional insecticide treatments. This suggests that the acquisition of lethal dose occurred over an extended period (up to 7 days) compared to a brief peak in larvae on plants treated with conventional insecticides. These results should prove useful for the registration of a ChchNPV-based insecticide for integrated management of this pest in banana crops on the Canary Islands.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181384
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