Intra- and inter-specific effects of cotton, soybean, and clover on the time until death of Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) and Heliothis virescens (F.) larvae lethally infected with H. zea nucleopolyhedrovirus (HzSNPV) were evaluated in the laboratory. In the first test, on second instar only, the time until death of lethally infected larvae of both species differed with the plant tissues (vegetative or reproductive) and plant species. The total viral activity produced per larva in LC50 units (occluded viral bodies (OBs) per larva/LC50 in OBs/mm2 of diet surface) was greater from H. virescens larvae fed vegetative than reproductive tissues of all host plants, but from H. zea virus production was greater only when fed vegetative tissue of soybean. In a second test that compared second and fourth instar H. virescens on cotton, total viral activity from larvae treated in both instars was greater when fed vegetative than reproductive tissues. Results of these tests suggest that the ability of host plants to influence baculovirus disease is more complex than previously believed. When examining the epizootic potential of a baculovirus, more attention must be given to the effects of the host plant on the insect-virus interactions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics