Horizontal transmission of Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus (HearNPV) has been found to occur through several pathways involving abiotic factors such as soil, wind, and rain, and biotic factors such as predators, parasitoids, and infected hosts. Previous studies examining horizontal transmission through certain biological carriers speculated they were likely not significant in increasing infection rates, however; these studies only focused on a relatively small number of arthropods present within a field setting. This study was conducted to evaluate the horizontal transmission potential of HearNPV by all potential biological carriers when applied as a foliar bioinsecticide or as virus-infected, nonmotile Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae in a soybean field. Soybean plots were either sprayed with HearNPV or infested with late-stage HearNPV-infected larvae, and sample zones were sampled 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, and 21 days after the infestation, and analyzed for viral presence using PCR. We then identified HearNPV carriers through contamination from the application (involuntary) or through contact with a HearNPV-infected larva (voluntary). Both were confirmed through PCR analysis. Regardless of application technique, on average, HearNPV was capable of disseminating up to 61.0 m in 3 d after inoculation and was found within the sampled canopy 13–21 d after inoculation. Several arthropods were identified as novel carriers of HearNPV. Results from this study indicate that many novel HearNPV carriers are likely important in disseminating HearNPV.
Journal of Economic Entomology
Vol. 112 • No. 3
Vol. 112 • No. 3
Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus