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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 Dec;79(24):7709-18. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02409-13. Epub 2013 Oct 4.

A Chrysodeixis chalcites single-nucleocapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus population from the Canary Islands is genotypically structured to maximize survival.

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Instituto de Agrobiotecnología, CSIC-Gobierno de Navarra, Mutilva Baja, Navarra, Spain.


A Chrysodeixis chalcites single-nucleocapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus wild-type isolate from the Canary Islands, Spain, named ChchSNPV-TF1 (ChchTF1-wt), appears to have great potential as the basis for a biological insecticide for control of the pest. An improved understanding of the genotypic structure of this wild-type strain population should facilitate the selection of genotypes for inclusion in a bioinsecticidal product. Eight genetically distinct genotypes were cloned in vitro: ChchTF1-A to ChchTF1-H. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) analysis confirmed that ChchTF1-A accounted for 36% of the genotypes in the wild-type population. In bioassays, ChchTF1-wt occlusion bodies (OBs) were significantly more pathogenic than any of the component single-genotype OBs, indicating that genotype interactions were likely responsible for the pathogenicity phenotype of wild-type OBs. However, the wild-type population was slower killing and produced higher OB yields than any of the single genotypes alone. These results strongly suggested that the ChchTF1-wt population is structured to maximize its transmission efficiency. Experimental OB mixtures and cooccluded genotype mixtures containing the most abundant and the rarest genotypes, at frequencies similar to those at which they were isolated, revealed a mutualistic interaction that restored the pathogenicity of OBs. In OB and cooccluded mixtures containing only the most abundant genotypes, ChchTF1-ABC, OB pathogenicity was even greater than that of wild-type OBs. The ChchTF1-ABC cooccluded mixture killed larvae 33 h faster than the wild-type population and remained genotypically and biologically stable throughout five successive passages in vivo. In conclusion, the ChchTF1-ABC mixture shows great potential as the active ingredient of a bioinsecticide to control C. chalcites in the Canary Islands.

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