Direct effects of recombinant nuclear polyhedrosis viruses on selected nontarget organisms.

K. M. Heinz, B. F. McCutchen, R. Herrmann, M. P. Parrella, B. D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


A limitation to effective field use of naturally occurring nuclear polyhedrosis viruses (NPVs) is the slow rate at which they kill their host. In making NPVs a more attractive pest management tool, this problem has been addressed by modifying NPVs genetically to express insecticidal proteins resulting in substantial increases in their speed of action. One concern associated with these recombinant NPVs, however, is their effects on nontarget insects associated with pests targeted for control by applications of NPVs. Our studies evaluated the direct effects of wild-type Autographa californica NPV (AcNPV) and a recombinant AcNPV (AcAaIT) on three insects beneficial to production agriculture. The recombinant NPV expresses an insect-selective neurotoxin, AaIT, which was isolated from the scorpion, Androctonus australis Hector. Two generalist predators, Chysoperla carnea Stephens and Orius insidiosus (Say), were not adversely affected by feeding on larvae of Heliothis virescens (F.) infected with AcAaIT. Similarly, no adverse effects were detected in the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., when injected with wild-type or recombinant NPVs. Results from this study may provide a foundation upon which potential risks associated with genetically engineered NPVs may be evaluated on a limited scale in greenhouse or field experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct effects of recombinant nuclear polyhedrosis viruses on selected nontarget organisms.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this