Baculoviruses — re-emerging biopesticides

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.

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