Further enhancement of baculovirus insecticidal efficacy with scorpion toxins that interact cooperatively

Avital Regev, Hadassah Rivkin, Bora Inceoglu, Eduard Gershburg, Bruce D. Hammock, Michael Gurevitz, Nor Chejanovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have studied whether the cooperative insecticidal effect of certain scorpion toxin pairs, namely either a combination of excitatory and depressant, or alpha and depressant scorpion toxins, would improve the efficacy of Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) over a virus expressing only a single toxin, towards Heliothis virescens, Helicoverpa armigera, and Spodoptera littoralis larvae. The best result was achieved by combined expression of the excitatory toxin, LqhIT1, and the depressant toxin, LqhIT2, that provided an ET50 value of 46.9 h on H. virescens neonates, an improvement of 40% over the efficacy of wild-type AcMNPV, and of 18% and 22% over baculoviruses that express each of the toxins independently. These results demonstrate that significant improvement in efficacy of recombinant baculoviruses is obtainable with toxins that exhibit a cooperative effect, and may contribute to employ baculoviruses to replace hazardous chemicals in insect control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-110
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 27 Feb 2003


  • Cooperative anti-insect scorpion toxin
  • Helicoverpa armigera
  • Heliothis virescens
  • Recombinant baculovirus
  • Spodoptera littoralis


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