Baculoviruses-- Re-Emerging Biopesticides

Biotechnol Adv. Mar-Apr 2006;24(2):143-60. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2005.09.001. Epub 2005 Oct 27.


Biological control of agricultural pests has gained importance in recent years due to increased pressure to reduce the use of agrochemicals and their residues in the environment and food. Viruses of a few families are known to infect insects but only those belonging to the highly specialized family Baculoviridae have been used as biopesticides. They are safe to people and wildlife, their specificity is very narrow. Their application as bioinsecticides was limited until recently because of their slow killing action and technical difficulties for in vitro commercial production. Two approaches for the wider application of baculoviruses as biopesticides will be implemented in future. In countries where use of genetically modified organisms is restricted, the improvements will be mainly at the level of diagnostics, in vitro production and changes in biopesticide formulations. In the second approach, the killing activity of baculoviruses may be augmented by genetic modifications of the baculovirus genome with genes of another natural pathogen. It is expected that the baculoviruses improved by genetic modifications will be gradually introduced in countries which have fewer concerns towards genetically modified organisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Baculoviridae / genetics
  • Baculoviridae / growth & development
  • Baculoviridae / physiology*
  • Fungi / physiology
  • Genetic Engineering / methods
  • Genetic Engineering / trends
  • Genome, Viral
  • Granulovirus / physiology
  • Insecta / virology
  • Nematoda / physiology
  • Nucleopolyhedroviruses / physiology
  • Pest Control, Biological / methods*
  • Pest Control, Biological / trends