The African armyworm, Spodoptera exempta, is a major pest in sub-Saharan Africa. A nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) is often recorded in later population outbreaks and can cause very high levels of mortality. Research has been addressing whether this NPV can be developed into a strategic biological control agent. As part of this study, the variation in natural populations of NPV is being studied. An isolate of S. exempta NPV was cloned in vivo and found to contain at least 17 genetically-distinct genotypes. These genotypes varied in size from approximately 115 to 153 kb.
Redman, E.M.; Wilson, K.; Grzywacz, D.; Cory, J.S. High levels of genetic diversity in Spodoptera exempta NPV from Tanzania. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology (2010) 105 (2) 190-193. [DOI: 10.1016/j.jip.2010.06.008]