Lymantria dispar multicapsid nuclear polyhedrosis virus

Lymantria dispar multicapsid nuclear polyhedrosis virus

''Lymantria dispar'' multicapsid nuclear polyhedrosis virus or LdMNPV is a viral infection in gypsy moths that causes infected larvae to die and disintegrate. Infected larvae climb to the top of a tree and die. The larvae then melt or disintegrate, falling onto the foliage below, where they infect more larvae.

Often referred to as Gypchek, the virus goes by multiple names. Gypchek is an insecticide which uses the virus to control the gypsy moth population. Because the virus only infects ''Lymantria dispar'', it has proven safe for use with other insects including ants, bees and non-target lepidopteran species. Studies of its safety have found no toxicity or mortality concerns, though ocular doses administered to rabbits did cause some irritation.

The gene responsible for the behavior of infected larvae has been found to be egt , with the protein tyrosine phosphatase playing a role in the infection of brain tissue. Due to the virus' effect on the infected larvae, various reports of zombie caterpillars popularized the virus at the time of the discovery of the egt gene.

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