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Which of the following statements regarding Baculoviruses as bio-control agents is/are correct?
(i) Baculoviruses are pathogens that attack insects and other arthropods.
(ii) Most of these biocontrol agents belong to the genus Nucleopolyhedrovirus.
(iii) They do not harm plants mammals, birds, fish and other non-target insects.
(iv) Baculoviruses are helpful in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme, in which beneficial insects are conserved.

Choose the correct option.
A. (i), (ii), and (iii)                           
B. (i), (ii) and (iv)
C. (ii), (iii) and (iv)
D. All of these

Last updated date: 21st May 2024
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Hint: In ecosystems, baculoviruses often play a significant role in the suppression of a large variety of different kinds of insects. For example, the virus of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is the main natural regulator of dense populations of this moth.
Complete Step-by-step answer: Baculoviruses are the viruses that are used as biocontrol agents to control a large number of insects e.g. Nucleopolyhedro viruses which have a narrow spectrum insecticidal effect. Baculoviruses are pathogens that attack insects and other arthropods. Like some human viruses, they are generally very small (less than a thousandth of a millimetre across), and consist primarily of double-stranded DNA that codes for genes necessary for virus establishment and reproduction. Baculovirus Heliothis is known to infect the larval stages of numerous harmful insect wasps, beetles, and ants. A number of baculoviruses, which are used as biopesticides belong to the genus Nucleopohyledrovirus. These biological weapons are not only efficient as potential biological control of harmful insects but are also harmless to non-target organisms (birds, plants, non-targets insects, mammals, etc). They are significant in organic farming due to their specific action on harmful insects without causing any harm to beneficial insects and to the environment. Baculoviruses are helpful in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Programme, in which beneficial insects are conserved.
Therefore the correct answer is Option D.
Note: Baculoviruses are insect pathogenic viruses that are used for pest insect control and as tools to generate recombinant proteins. Numerous studies indicate that both natural baculoviruses and genetically modified (GM) baculoviruses hold clear and significant benefits for plant conservation.