China is rich in insect viruses. Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus (HaSNPV), was the first commercial insecticide registered in 1993. Subsequently, 13 viral insecticides were registered and released into the market as pesticides, including nine nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV), three granulovirus (GV), one densonucleosis virus (DNV), and one cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus (CPV). Industrial exploitation of viruses in China started more than three decades ago. To date, at least 24 baculovirus insecticides have been or are currently used in field trials in China, 12 of which are unregistered. Examples of successful applications and benefits of entomopathogenic viruses as microbial insecticides are presented in the current paper. However, chemical prevention is still the main measure for the management of insect pests in China. Effective public extension services, government policies, and farmer education are important to expand the use of viral insecticides as well as for the further development in the production and use of these insecticides.
Key words: Microbial control, baculoviruses, viral insecticide, sustainable agriculture.
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