Expression of a Paralytic Neurotoxin Gene to Improve Plant Protective Efficacy of Baculoviruses as Biopesticides
Due to increased pressures in current years to reduce the use of agro-chemical products and their residues in the environment and food, biological control of agricultural pests has gains in importance. Some families have viruses which infect insects, but only the highly specialized Baculoviridae family has been used as biopesticides. Their specificity is very narrow and secure for people and wildlife. Because of their slow killing and technical difficulties with in vitro commercial production, their use as bioinsecticides was until recently limited. Two methods will be applied in future for the broader application of biopesticides by baculoviruses. The development will be largely at the level of treatment and in vitro output and improvements in formulations of biopesticide in countries with minimal use of genetically modified organisms. The second approach allows for genetic changes of the genome of baculovirus with genes from another natural pathogen to improve the killing ability of baculoviruses. Genetic modifications of baculoviruses are expected to be introduced gradually in countries that have fewer concerns about GMOs.