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Insect viruses as biocontrol agents

  • Doreen Winstanley
  • Luciano Rovesti
Chapter

Abstract

Virus diseases of insects and their role in the natural regulation of insect populations have been recognized for many years. When the virulence and insect-specific nature of some viruses was appreciated, research intensified on their potential as biological control agents and numerous field trials were carried out between 1950 and 1960 (Ignoffo, 1973). Viral insecticides, however, failed to become commercially successful at this time probably because of the simultaneous development of numerous synthetic pesticides with broad spectrum, low cost and high insecticidal activity. However, during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s many unacceptable problems caused by overdependence on chemical insecticides came to light, such as insecticide resistance, environmental pollution by insecticidal residues, emergence of ‘new’ pest species (i.e. outbreaks of insects which were present but never caused damage in the past) and adverse effects on human health.

Keywords

Biocontrol Agent Chemical Insecticide Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus Occlusion Body Insect Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doreen Winstanley
  • Luciano Rovesti

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