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Gypsy Moth Virus with Enhanced Polyhedra and Virus Protection

Gypsy Moth
Gypsy Moth

Patent Status

Patent Numbers: 5,420,031; 5,462,732; 5,571,672; 5,853,982; and 5,882,913

Dates Issued: May 30, 1995 — March 16, 1999

Technology Description

The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is a particularly troublesome tree defoliator that has caused major tree infestations. One choice agent for gypsy moth control is the gypsy moth virus, Lymantria dispar nuclear polyhedrosis virus (LdNPV). This agent, however, has only recently been produced in an economically-feasible fashion.

These inventions provide improvements regarding the economic and efficient production and isolation of LdNPV. In particular, this invention is an isolate of LdNPV characterized by enhanced polyhedra production, enhanced budded virus production, and stable polyhedra production during serial passage in cell culture. Also disclosed are a viral insecticide and a method for protecting plants from insects against which LdNPV is toxic. This invention will further enhance that production and subsequent use of LdNPV as a gypsy moth control agent. Thus, this invention represents a further step toward the selective control and/or eradication of gypsy moth infestations.

Potential Commercial Uses

This technology represents a significant improvement over chemical insecticides and Bacillus thuringensis because it is specific for the gypsy moth and consequently has no non-target effects. In addition, since the virus is a biological agent, there is no ground or water contamination as occurs with chemical insecticides. Overall, use of the virus will allow the selective removal of gypsy moth from a treatment area with no detrimental impact on the ecosystem.

Licensees and/or industrial cooperators are being sought for this technology.

Inventor/Project Leader

James M. Slavicek