Genome analysis and genetic stability of the Cryptophlebia leucotreta Granulovirus (CrleGV-SA) after 15 years of commercial use as a biopesticide

Marcel van der Merwe , Michael D. Jukes , Łukasz Rąbalski , Caroline Knox , John K. Opoku-Debrah , Sean D. Moore , Martyna Krejmer-Rąbalska , Bogusław Szewczyk , Martin P. Hill


Thaumatotibia leucotreta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is an indigenous pest in southern Africa which attacks citrus fruits and other crops. To control T. leucotreta in South Africa, an integrated pest management (IPM) programme incorporating the baculovirus Cryptophlebia leucotreta granulovirus (CrleGV-SA) as a biopesticide has been implemented. This study investigated the genetic stability of a commercially produced CrleGV-SA product that has been applied in the field since 2000. Seven representative full-genome sequences of the CrleGV-SA isolate spanning a 15-year period were generated and compared with one another. Several open reading frames (ORFs) were identified to have acquired single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) during the 15-year period, with three patterns observed and referred to as “stable”, “reversion”, and “unstable switching”. Three insertion events were also identified, two of which occurred within ORFs. Pairwise multiple alignments of these sequences showed an identity ranging from 99.98% to 99.99%. Concentration-response bioassays comparing samples of CrleGV-SA from 2000 and 2015 showed an increase in virulence toward neonate T. leucotreta larvae. The CrleGV-SA genome sequence generated from the 2015 sample was compared to the Cape Verde reference genome, CrleGV-CV3. Several fusion events were identified between ORFs within these genomes. These sequences shared 96.7% pairwise identity, confirming that CrleGV-SA is a genetically distinct isolate. The results of this study indicate that the genome of CrleGV-SA has remained stable over many years, with implications for its continued use as a biopesticide in the field. Furthermore, the study describes the first complete baculovirus genome to be sequenced with the MinION (Oxford Nanopore, Oxford, UK) platform and the first complete genome sequence of the South African CrleGV isolate.
Author Marcel van der Merwe
Marcel van der Merwe,,
, Michael D. Jukes
Michael D. Jukes,,
, Łukasz Rąbalski (IFB / IB / LRV)
Łukasz Rąbalski,,
- Laboratory of Recombinant Vaccines
, Caroline Knox
Caroline Knox,,
, John K. Opoku-Debrah
John K. Opoku-Debrah,,
, Sean D. Moore
Sean D. Moore,,
, Martyna Krejmer-Rąbalska (IFB)
Martyna Krejmer-Rąbalska,,
- Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG
, Bogusław Szewczyk (IFB / IB / LRV)
Bogusław Szewczyk,,
- Laboratory of Recombinant Vaccines
, Martin P. Hill
Martin P. Hill,,
Journal seriesInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1661-6596, e-ISSN 1422-0067, (A 30 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.65
Keywords in Englishbetabaculovirus, false codling moth, biopesticide, genome stability
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)30
ScoreMinisterial score = 30.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 30.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 3.226 (2) - 2016=3.482 (5)
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