Ascoviruses are double-stranded DNA viruses that are pathogenic to lepidopteran hosts, particularly noctuid larvae. Infection of a larva is characterized by retarded growth, reduced feeding and yellowish body color. In this paper, we reported the growth and development of three major agricultural noctuid insect pests, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) and Spodoptera litura (Fabricius), infected with Heliothis virescens ascovirus 3h (HvAV-3h). Using 10-fold serial dilutions (0 to 7) of HvAV-3h-containing hemolymph to infect S. litura larvae, we found no significant difference in larval mortalities from 0 to 103-fold dilutions; however, significant differences were observed at 104-fold dilution and above. Using a 10-fold dilution of HvAV-3h-containing hemolymph to infect H. armigera, S. exigua and S. litura larvae, we found that the growth and development were significantly affected. All infected larvae could not pupate; the survival times of treated H. armigera, S. litura and S. exigua larvae were significantly longer than untreated control larvae. Body weight showed significant difference between treated and untreated control group from day 1 after inoculation in H. armigera and S. exigua, but day 2 in S. litura. Additionally, food intake also showed significant difference between treated and untreated control group from day 2 after inoculation in H. armigera and S. litura, but day 3 in S. exigua. © 2013 Li et al.
Li, S. J., Wang, X., Zhou, Z. S., Zhu, J., Hu, J., Zhao, Y. P., … Huang, G. H. (2013). A comparison of growth and development of three major agricultural insect pests infected with Heliothis virescens ascovirus 3h (HvAV-3h). PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0085704