Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We use data from the serial passage of co-occluded recombinant Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcMNPV) to estimate the viral multiplicity of infection of cells within infected insects. Co-occlusion, the incorporation of wild-type and mutant virus genomes in the same occlusion body, has been proposed as a strategy to deliver genetically modified viruses as insecticides in a way that contains their spread in the environment. It may also serve as a means whereby naturally occurring mutant forms of NPVs can be maintained in a stable polymorphism. Here, a recombinant strain of AcMNPV was constructed with a deletion of its polyhedrin gene, rendering it incapable of producing occlusion bodies (i.e., occlusion negative). This was co-occluded with wild-type AcMNPV and used to infect fifth-instar Trichoplusia ni larvae. The fate of both genotypes was monitored over several rounds of insect infection. Levels of the occlusion-negative virus genome declined slowly over successive rounds of infection. We applied these data to a model of NPV population genetics to derive an estimate of 4.3 +/- 0.3 viral genomes per occlusion body-producing cell.

Original publication




Journal article


Appl Environ Microbiol

Publication Date





5204 - 5209


Animals, Gene Deletion, Genetic Engineering, Lepidoptera, Nucleopolyhedrovirus, Organelles, Pest Control, Biological, Recombination, Genetic, Virus Replication