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Molecular detection and pathogenicity of a nucleopolyhedrovirus isolated from looper caterpillar (Hyposidra talaca), a tea pest

Soma Dasgupta, Hijam Ranjit Singh, Sudripta Das, Sunil Kumar Pathak, Rakesh Kumar Bhola

Plant Protection Department, Tea Research Association, North Bengal Regional Research and Development Centre, Jalpaiguri, India.


Hyposidra talaca is a major defoliating pest of tea plants in north-eastern part of India. In this study, we look for variations (if any) in the attacking virus. Viral samples were collected from different regions of the northern part of West Bengal in India and were analyzed by PCR technique to study the variations across the region. The partial segment of the HytaNPV polyhedrin gene was cloned and sequenced. A 527 bp nucleotide sequence containing highly conserved region from polyhedrin gene of HytaNPV was observed. The blast homology search for studied polyhedrin gene showed 98% sequence identity with the sequence of previous reported NPV of H. talacaH. infixaria and Buzura suppressaria. Pathogenicity study against second instar H. talaca indicated that the LC50 values ranged from 4.61 × 105 to 7.57 × 105 polyhedral occlusion bodies per ml (POBs/ml) and the LT50 values ranged from 4.2 to 6.66 days. Sequencing result reveals that the same HytaNPV strain dominates across this area and the pathogenicity indicates its potential as an alternative to chemical insecticides to control H. talaca.

Keywords: Hyposidra talaca, Nucleopolyhedrovirus, Polyhedrin gene, PCR, Bioactivity.

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