Recombinant insect nucleopolyhedroviruses lacking the egt gene generally kill their hosts faster than wild-type strains, but the response of insects to mixtures of virus genotypes is less well known. Here, we compared the survival time, lethal dose and occlusion body yield in third instar larvae of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) after challenge with wild-type H. armigera SNPV (HaSNPV-wt), a strain with a deletion of the egt gene, HaSNPV-LM2, and a 1:1 mixture of these two virus strains. A range of doses was used to determine whether the total number of OBs influenced the response to challenge with a mixture of virus strains versus single strains. At high virus doses, HaSNPV-LM2 killed H. armigera larvae significantly faster (ca. 20 h) than HaSNPV-wt, but at low doses, there was no significant difference in survival time between the viruses. The survival time after challenge with mixed virus inoculum was significantly different from and intermediate between that of the single viruses at high doses, and not different from that of the single viruses at low doses. No differences in lethal dose were found between single and mixed infections or between virus genotypes. The number of occlusion bodies produced per larva increased with time to death and decreased with virus dose, but no significant differences among virus types were found.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics