The use of the Massive parallel sequencing methods (also known as Next generation sequencing, NGS) has allowed the identification of new species of arthropod-infecting viruses. These viruses, in addition to represent new pathogens with potential for use in pest control, are of special relevance because they are capable of increasing or attenuating the action of other control agents such as baculovirus or B. thuringiensis.
Using NGS and data mining we have identified multiple RNA viruses producing covert infections on important agricultural and forest pests (e.g. beet armyworm, medfly, pine processionary, etc). In addition to continue the search for novel viruses, we are focusing our research in understanding the pleiotropic effects of these viruses in insect fitness and exploring their potential as pest control agents, alone or in combinations with other agents used in integrated pest management.
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