CE:3117 CF: cag103172139


Baculovirus potential for agricultural pests management in Cuba

Potencial de los Baculovirus para el manejo de plagas agrícolas en Cuba


Jorge L. Ayala Sifontes1 y Deborah Henderson2

1 Laboratorio Provincial de Sanidad Vegetal, Carretera del Jíbaro Km 2, Sancti Spíritus, Cuba. CP

2Institute for Sustainable Horticulture Kwantlen Polytechnic University 12666 72nd Ave. Surrey, Canada. BC V3W 2M8

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Cuba has an international reputation for implementing widespread biological control of pests, and microbial biocontrol is an integral component of most pest management programs. One class of microbial pesticides however, has not been developed in Cuba, bio-insecticides based on the Baculoviridae. This class of safe and environmentally protective microbial pesticides is used ever more commonly worldwide as an alternative to chemical pesticides. The characteristics of the viruses of this family, particularly their high host specificity, safety to non-target organisms, capacity to persist in nature and create epizootics, and the economy with which they can be produced "in vivo", all make them attractive for incorporation into pest management programs along with other pesticides developed in Cuba. The mass production technology is well understood in Cuba and biofactories already exist for a number of microbial biocontrol products. In the province of Sancti Spíritus, the Plant Protection Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, with the cooperation of the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, are resuming the work which began in the 90´s to develop baculovirus products in support of sustainable agriculture in Cuba. This work is being carried out with the participation of young Canadian and Cuban students and professionals. The program includes research with the multicapsid nuclear polyhedrosis viruses of Spodoptera frugiperda (SfMNPV) and S. exigua (SeMNPV) and the search for native isolates of Baculovirus in Plutella xylostella,three priority pests in Cuba. In other jurisdictions they are well controlled by baculoviruses, and the expectation is that this same result is possible in Cuba.

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