NEW YORK, Feb. 24 (GenomeWeb News) - The Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) said today that Canada's Great Lakes Forestry Center (GLFC) has selected it to co-develop a virus-based biopesticide to control the velvet bean caterpillar, Anticarsia gemmatalis, which causes hundreds of millions of dollars of damage annually to soybeans and other legume crops
OGI will develop a genetically modified virus to control the insect. According to GLFC, the group of viruses to be used in the project has "a proven safety record against non-target organisms such as fish, birds, and mammals."
GLFC originally developed the virus-based approach to control the spruce budworm. The technique uses an insect-specific virus, which is modified to contain part of the insect's own genome, to interfere with the molting process and cause feeding inhibition and premature death.