Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae are polyphagous, aggressive, and have been found in many of Brazil's agricultural areas. Biological control with baculoviruses is part of an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy to manage this insect. Three isolates of nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) were collected from Brazilian populations of H. armigera, and compared genetically and biologically to Gemstar® (an imported nucleopolyhedrovirus), and to Nucleopolyedrovirus spodoptera (SPNPV) that was passed serially through H. armigera. Genetic sequencing of lef-8 and lef-9 genes revealed that the Brazilian isolates were closely related to nucleopolyhedrovirus species from Australia, South Africa, China, and India. The isolates caused high mortality rates in third instar H. armigera larvae. The mean lethal dose (LD50) and lethal time (LT50) differed between isolates, but was highest for HearNPV-BR2. This is the first report of HearNPV in Brazil, and the insecticidal properties of the BR2 isolate support its potential use in the production of biopesticides to manage H. armigera in Brazil.
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Vol. 102 • No. 1