Sunlight Persistence and Rainfastness of Spray-Dried Formulations of Baculovirus Isolated From Anagrapha falcifera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

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Nuclear polyhedrosis viruses such as the one isolated from the celery looper, Anagrapha falcifera (Kirby) (AfMNPV), have the potential to be successful bioinsecticides if improved formulations can prevent rapid loss of insecticidal activity from environmental conditions such as sunlight and rainfall. We tested 16 spray-dried formulations of AfMNPV to determine the effect of different ingredients (e.g., lignin, corn flour, and so on) on insecticidal activity after simulated rain and simulated sunlight (at Peoria, IL) and natural sunlight exposures (at Tifton, GA). The most effective formulation contained pregelatinized corn flour and potassium lignate, which retained more than half of its original activity after 5 cm of simulated rain, and almost full activity after 8 h of simulated sunlight. In Georgia, formulations made with and without lignin were compared for persistence of insecticidal activity when exposed to natural sunlight. In addition, the effect of fluorescent brighteners as formulation components and spray tank additives was tested. Results showed that the formulations with lignin had more insecticidal activity remaining after sunlight exposure than formulations without lignin. The inclusion of brighteners in the formulation did not improve initial activity or virus persistence. However, a 1% tank mix significantly enhanced activity and improved persistence. Scanning electron micrographs revealed discreet particles, and transmission electron micrographs showed virus embedded within microgranules. Results demonstrated that formulations made with natural ingredients could improve persistence of virus-based biopesticides.

Keywords: Anagrapha falcifera baculovirus; formulations; nuclear polyhedrosis virus; rainfastness; spray drying; sunlight stability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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