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A novel formulation technology for baculoviruses protects biopesticide from degradation by ultraviolet radiation

A novel formulation technology for baculoviruses protects biopesticide from degradation by ultraviolet radiation

Wilson, Kenneth, Grzywacz, David, Curcic, Igor, Scoates, Freya, Harper, Karen, Rice, Annabel, Paul, Nigel and Dillon, Aoife (2020) A novel formulation technology for baculoviruses protects biopesticide from degradation by ultraviolet radiation. Scientific Reports, 10:13301. ISSN 2045-2322 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-70293-7)

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Abstract

Biopesticides are biological pest control agents that are viewed as safer alternatives to the synthetic chemicals that dominate the global insecticide market. A major constraint on the wider adoption of biopesticides is their susceptibility to the ultraviolet (UV: 290–400 nm) radiation in sunlight, which limits their persistence and efficacy. Here, we describe a novel formulation technology for biopesticides in which the active ingredient (baculovirus) is micro-encapsulated in an ENTOSTAT wax combined with a UV absorbant (titanium dioxide, TiO2). Importantly, this capsule protects the sensitive viral DNA from degrading in sunlight, but dissolves in the alkaline insect gut to release the virus, which then infects and kills the pest. We show, using simulated sunlight, in both laboratory bioassays and trials on cabbage and tomato plants, that this can extend the efficacy of the biopesticide well beyond the few hours of existing virus formulations, potentially increasing the spray interval and/or reducing the need for high application rates. The new formulation has a shelf-life at 30 °C of at least 6 months, which is comparable to standard commercial biopesticides and has no phytotoxic effect on the host plants. Taken together, these findings suggest that the new formulation technology could reduce the costs and increase the efficacy of baculovirus biopesticides, with the potential to make them commercially competitive alternatives to synthetic chemicals.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2020 12:19
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/29578

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