Both wild-type and recombinant baculoviruses are becoming more attractive for the control of insect pests. Thus, there is an increased incentive to address and resolve logistical problems associated with large-scale production of these viruses. In this study, we have compared the potential of two insect cell lines, Tn5B1-4 and Sf21, for the production of polyhedra and compared the efficacy of both cell culture-derived and host-derived viruses by bioassay. The efficacy of both wild-type AcMNPV and AcAaIT, a recombinant baculovirus expressing an insect-specific scorpion toxin, were compared. Yields of polyhedra from Tn5B1-4 were sixfold higher than those from the cell line Sf21. Morphological analysis of polyhedra derived from cell culture showed greater variability in size relative to host-derived polyhedra. The maximum size of cell culture-derived polyhedra was over 1.5 times larger than that of insect-derived polyhedra. The efficacy of AcMNPV and AcAaIT derived from cell culture, or from amplification in larvae of Trichoplusia ni or Heliothis virescens, was compared by bioassay in H. virescens. There was a significant difference between the slopes for lethal time data for host-derived and cell culture-derived wild-type virus. Mortality occurred at a faster rate following infection with host-derived virus. No significant difference was seen for the recombinant virus AcAaIT. Lethal doses of cell- and host-derived polyhedra were not significantly different. The reasons for and implications of this for pest control are discussed. The data suggest that polyhedra production in larvae may be preferable to production in cell culture for the wild-type virus, but that this does not hold for recombinant viruses with enhanced speed of kill.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics