Recombinant Neurotoxin: A More Effective Insecticide

Tech ID: 11252 / UC Case 1990-279-0

Full Description

University of California researchers have developed a new recombinant viral insecticide that kills host insects 50% more quickly than the wild type virus.

Baculoviruses are a class of pathogens selective for insects. The viruses have recently been proven to be efficient vectors for the expression of foreign genes as well. This has led to the development of recombinant viruses which selectively kill their hosts by expressing the foreign gene. Previous attempts using inserted insect diuretic hormone and juvenile hormone esterase genes have met with some success, but showed little increase in potency over control viruses.

Scientists at the University of California have now developed a new recombinant virus which expresses a neurotoxin that selectively targets and blocks the insect's sodium channels. This mode of action is similar to that of many widely used chemical insecticides. This new virus shows 25% greater efficacy over previously engineered viruses. These results suggest that such a recombinant insect-specific virus could be used as a safe and effective insecticide, and be of great commercial value to agriculture.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 6,689,356 02/10/2004 1990-279


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  • Hammock, Bruce D.
  • Maeda, Susumu
  • McCutchen, Bill Fred

Other Information


insecticide, recombinant neurotoxin, recombinant viral insecticide

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