Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virus to control potato moth

Date:
July 29, 2013
Source:
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
Summary:
New biological insecticides have emerged in recent years which make use of so-called "entomopathogenic" viruses that are harmful to insects, in particular the baculovirus. To identify the virus in this family that will most effectively control the Guatemalan potato moth, the French-Ecuadorian research team have analysed the pathogens among moths from all over the world. And the winner is… the granulosis virus, or granulovirus, which appears to be the most wide-spread. The researchers detected it in moths from twelve different countries. Moreover, it has the widest activity spectrum: it also attacks five other tuber pests.

Harvest potatoes.
Credit: © IRD / O. Dangles

New biological insecticides have emerged in recent years which make use of so-called "entomopathogenic" viruses that are harmful to insects, in particular the baculovirus. To identify the virus in this family that will most effectively control the Guatemalan potato moth, the French-Ecuadorian research team have analysed the pathogens among moths from all over the world. And the winner is… the granulosis virus, or granulovirus, which appears to be the most wide-spread. The researchers detected it in moths from twelve different countries. Moreover, it has the widest activity spectrum: it also attacks five other tuber pests.

Related Articles


The researchers then did a laboratory test of a formula based on this virus. The result was as efficient as chemical products: it produces a mortality rate among Guatemalan potato moth larvae of more than 98%!

Slow action…

Pulverised on the surface of potatoes or the eggs of the invasive species, the granulovirus contaminates the larvae through ingestion. It then spreads through the digestive tract and to the entire organism of the host, causing a lethal infection within two or three days. The action is therefore relatively slow compared to chemical insecticides that have an immediate effect upon contact. Its use also requires expert knowledge and detailed monitoring of the moth's biological cycle, ecology and behaviour, which could hold back its deployment for biological control.

… but assured benefits

Nevertheless, such a biopesticide has many advantages and is a worthwhile alternative to chemical insecticides which are still the primary method used by farmers in Ecuador. Phytosanitary products are toxic for the environment and potentially for the user as well. Using biological pesticides that rapidly degrade in the environment would reduce the risks of pollution.

Another advantage of baculoviruses is that they are innocuous to man, vertebrae and plants. Moreover, each viral strain attacks a very limited number of insect species. This host specificity means that the Guatemalan potato moth can be targeted while preserving the ecosystem, in particular useful insects like pollinators. Lastly, unlike the molecules in chemical plant-protection products, viruses are able to mutate, which limits the development of resistance in their host.

Need for an integrated control strategy

For efficient control of the Guatemalan potato moth, the use of this viral pesticide must therefore necessarily form part of an integrated control strategy. To this end, the French-Ecuadorian team has since 2006 been doing genetic, agronomic and ecological studies: molecular analyses to describe the genetic structure of the pests, a study of the impact of temperatures on their ecology by means of drones with thermal cameras… The aim is to get a better understanding of the insects' population dynamics and define good practices to limit their proliferation. In this respect, the researchers have developed methods like role-playing games to raise awareness among farmers. Recent surveys have shown their efficiency on a regional scale (Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia). Training remains a key element in efficient crop-pest management.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carpio C., Dangles Olivier , Dupas Stéphane , Léry Xavier , Lopez-Ferber M., Orbe K., Paez D., Rebaudo François , Santillan A., Yangari B., Zeddam Jean-Louis. Development of a viral biopesticide for the control of the Guatemala potato tuber moth Tecia solanivora. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 2013, 112 (2), p. 184-191 DOI: 10.1016/j.jip2012.11.014

Cite This Page:

Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). "Virus to control potato moth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729083254.htm>.
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). (2013, July 29). Virus to control potato moth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729083254.htm
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). "Virus to control potato moth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729083254.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) — A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic has seen Senegal and Guinea Bissau close its borders with Guinea and the economic consequences have started to be felt, especially in Fouta Djallon, where the renowned potato industry has been hit hard. Duration: 02:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) — Just in time for Halloween, a glowing flower goes on display in Tokyo. Instead of sorcery and magic, its creators used science to genetically modify the flower, adding a naturally fluorescent plankton protein to its genetic mix. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins