Studies were performed in the laboratory, greenhouse and field to assess the potential of Agrotis ipsilon multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AgipMNPV) and a viral enhancing agent, M2R, for suppression of Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel). In laboratory droplet feeding bioassays, AgipMNPV was shown to be highly active against third-instar A. ipsilon. The optical brightener M2R significantly reduced LD50 estimates by ≈160-fold, but had no direct effect on survival time estimates. In greenhouse trials, spray and bait formulations of AgipMNPV significantly reduced feeding damage to corn seedlings caused by third-instar A. ipsilon. In two sets of replicated field trials, bait formulations of AgipMNPV significantly reduced feeding damage to corn seedlings by third-instar A. ipsilon. However, there were no beneficial effects attributable to the inclusion of M2R in AgipMNPV formulations under greenhouse or field conditions. It seems likely that in an appropriately designed pest management program AgipMNPV could be used to suppress field populations of early and mid-instar A. ipsilon.
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Vol. 94 • No. 5