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New Zealand Plant Protection 60 (2007): 26-32

Host range testing of a nucleopolyhedrovirus of the lightbrown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana

J. Poulton, N.P. Markwick, V.K Ward and V. Young


Epiphyas postvittana nucleopolyhedrovirus (EppoNPV) has considerable potential as a biocontrol agent or biopesticide for control of lightbrown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana, a pest of horticultural crops in New Zealand, and a market access problem in export fruit. To obtain regulatory approval for EppoNPV in either role EppoNPV must not negatively impact on non-target organisms. In this study, eight non-target insect species from one hymenopteran and five lepidopteran families were inoculated with EppoNPV at high titre (109 PIB/ml). Larval survival, growth rates, pupation and pupal weights were measured and larvae examined for EppoNPV. Minor differences in one parameter were found in Helicoverpa armigera and Cydia pomonella, but no viral infection. Growth and survival were compromised in virus-fed individuals in only one species, Tyria jacobaeae. The majority of T. jacobaeae larvae had high microsporidal infections and EppoNPV polyhedra were found in only one larva, suggesting a very low likelihood of field infectivity.

Keywords: Epiphyas postvittana, nucleopolyhedrovirus, host range, EppoNPV.

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