The boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis Boheman, is a devastating pest of cotton. Chemical pesticides are problematic due to relative lack of target specificity and resistance. Microbial pesticides may provide viable alternatives because of their narrow host range. Chilo iridescent virus (CIV) is the type species for genus Iridovirus , family Iridoviridae : large, icosahedral cytoplasmic viruses containing a double-stranded DNA genome. Earlier work suggested that CIV replicated in the boll weevil; however, efficiency or production of infectious virus was not established. We showed that CIV undergoes a productive cycle in A. grandis . CIV DNA levels in boll weevil pupae increased significantly from 0 to 3 days post infection. Moreover, virogenic stromata and complete virus particles were observed in the cytoplasm by 7 days. An endpoint dilution assay using viral DNA replication as indicator suggested a 10 5 -fold increase in infectious virus titer over 7 days. This is the first such demonstration in larval infections with genus Iridovirus . Our study establishes that CIV undergoes a productive cycle in the boll weevil and provides an important and useful model system for replication at the organismal level. These results have important implications for the potential of CIV and its components in boll weevil control.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2001
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