Insecticida biológico Gemstar® LC

Gemstar LC es contiene un virus de origen natural que infecta y mata larvas de Helicoverpa zea y Heliothis especies en una amplia gama de cultivos. Gemstar LC es un insecticida altamente selectivo que contiene un virus de origen natural que infecta y mata solamente las larvas (orugas) de gusano del maíz Helicoverpa zea (también conocido como el gusano del fruto del tomate o de algodón gusano de la cápsula) y el gusano cogollero del tabaco (Heliothis virescens). Click here to download the Gemstar LC Technical Bulletin.

Gemstar LC hero image

Gemstar LC es para su uso contra las siguientes plagas:

  • Heliothis spp.
  • Maíz earworm
  • Gusano del algodón
  • Tomate fruitworm
  • Gusano cogollero del tabaco
Virus-killed caterpillar on a cotton leaf

Virus-muertos oruga en una hoja de algodón. Nótese cómo la fuga del contenido del cuerpo licuados lanza nuevos OBs que se pueden comer por e infectan otras larvas (transmisión horizontal).


Gemstar LC se puede utilizar con los siguientes cultivos:

  • Alfalfa
  • Espárragos
  • Frijoles
  • Las remolachas
  • Brócoli
  • Repollo
  • Coliflor
  • Maíz
  • algodón
  • Pepino
  • escarola
  • Lechuga
  • Cebolla
  • Cacahuetes
  • Guisantes
  • Peppers
  • Papas
  • La soja
  • La remolacha azucarera
  • Girasol
  • Maíz dulce
  • Papas dulces
  • Tabaco
  • Tomates
  • Trigo

Aplicaciones Gemstar LC

Ingrediente activo: cuerpos de oclusión poliédricos (OBS) del virus de la poliedrosis nuclear de Helicoverpa zea

Precios: 9 oz. (300 ml) por acre (ver etiqueta)

Rocíe Intervalo: 7-14 días (ver etiqueta)

Reingreso Intervalo: 4 horas

Días hasta la cosecha : 0


Este virus es muy anfitrión específico. No infecta a los insectos beneficiosos, peces, la vida silvestre, el ganado, o los seres humanos.

Gemstar LC debe ser comido por las larvas para ser eficaz por lo que la cobertura de pulverización completa es muy importante. Desde Gemstar LC es más efectivo contra las larvas pequeñas, recién nacidos, se recomienda un programa de exploración pronto para determinar primeras infestaciones.

Gemstar LC listed by both the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the National Organic Program (NOP) for use in organic orchards.

Almacenar a temperaturas por debajo de 90 °F. La actividad puede verse afectada por el almacenamiento por encima de 90 °F.

Almacenamiento de esto en un congelador o refrigerador extenderá su vida útil.

Cultivos orgánicos

NOP Logo
NOP Aprobado:

Este producto está aprobado para la producción orgánica por el Programa Nacional Orgánico (NOP), un programa de marketing ubicada en el Departamento de Agricultura (USDA) Servicio de Comercialización Agrícola, la agencia que establece las normas de comercialización Estados Unidos. La misión NOP es desarrollar y aplicar las normas nacionales que regulan la comercialización de los productos agrícolas producidos orgánicamente, para facilitar el comercio de alimentos frescos y procesados que se produce de manera orgánica, y para garantizar a los consumidores que los productos cumplan con los estándares consistentes.

OMRI Listed®

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Este producto está listado por OMRI por lo que se determina por la Organic Materiales Review Institute (OMRI) para ser adecuado para su uso en la producción orgánica certificada.

Washington State Department of Agriculture

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Washington state organic growers have several sources for determining what materials are allowed in organic production: the National List (NOP), the OMRI Products List and the WSDA Brand Name Materials Lists (BNML).

The WSDA Brand Name Materials List is a list of brand name products that have been evaluated by the Washington State Department of Agriculture to determine that they comply with organic standards. Products listed on the BNML are for use in organic production.



Gemstar® LC is an aqueous suspension concentrate biological insecticide from Certis USA, registered for use on a broad range of crops. It contains a naturally occurring virus that infects and kills larvae of Heliothis and Helicoverpa species, such as corn earworm, tomato fruitworm, cotton bollworm and tobacco budworm. Gemstar LC carries a “Caution” signal word and a minimum 4 hour restricted entry interval (REI). It can be sprayed the same day as harvest (zero PHI).

Product Features
  • Liquid suspension concentrate bioinsecticide
  • Target pests: Corn earworm, tomato fruitworm, bollworm, and tobacco budworm
  • Broad crop label: Sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, leafy and other vegetables, cotton, tobacco, ornamental plants, and many other crops
  • Application rates: 4 to 10 fl. oz. per acre
  • Application methods: Aerial, ground, or overhead sprinkler chemigation
  • Compatible with most agricultural chemicals
  • 4 hour REI and zero PHI
  • OMRI listed and NOP compliant
Mode of Action
purified OBs
Scanning electron photomicrograph of purified OBs.

The scientific name for the active ingredient of Gemstar LC is Helicoverpa zea single capsid nucleopolyhedrovirus or HzSNPV. Multiple HzSNPV particles are naturally microencapsulated within a roughly spherical occlusion body (OB) that protects it to some degree from degradation.

Each OB measures about 1 to 2 microns in diameter; a single layer of more than a million Gemstar LC OBs could fit on the head of a pin.

A larva must ingest OBs in order to become infected with the virus. The highly alkaline environment of the larval digestive tract (where pH can be as high as 10) dissolves the OBs and releases the virus, which penetrates the cells lining the midgut.Once inside, the viral DNA “hijacks” the nucleus of the cell, causing it to replicate numerous copies of the virus which rapidly spread the infection to other organs. Within a few days the infected larva stops feeding, becoming pale and sluggish as its internal organs fill with virus. Upon death the larva “melts,” its fragile outer skin disintegrating to release the liquefied remains of its internal organs, containing billions of new virus OBs. Each of these is capable of initiation a new infection if ingested by another larva feeding at that site or wherever OBs have been deposited by raindrops, gravity, or by spraying Gemstar LC.

Virus-infected larva
Virus-infected larva, showing abnormally pale color and sluggish behavior.

Laboratory studies have determined that a dose of only a few OBs is sufficient to initiate a lethal infection in newly-hatched larvae. A single ounce of Gemstar LC contains nearly 60 billion OBs. Of course, not every OB in a spray will be ingested by a larva, but the highly virulent nature of HzSNPV toward its host means that it is effective at very low use rates.

Virus Transmission

HzSNPV occurs naturally in Helicoverpa and Heliothis populations, but usually at levels too low to prevent damaging outbreaks in commercial agricultural crops. The virus can persist for years in protected environments such as soil and crop residue. Rainfall, wind, cultivation, movement of animals and birds, and other physical forces can move OBs onto areas such as foliage or fruit where they can be ingested by larvae to begin another cycle of infection. However, the most effective way to initiate infection is to spray the virus onto the crop in much higher amounts than would otherwise occur naturally.

Virus-killed caterpillar
Virus-killed caterpillar on a cotton leaf. Note how leakage of liquefied body contents releases new OBs that can be eaten by and infect other larvae (horizontal transmission).

Once virus infection has occurred within a larval generation, there are several ways it can be maintained within the target pest population. Horizontal transmission occurs when larvae become infected by ingesting virus released into the environment when diseased larvae die. Sometimes infection occurs too late and at too low a dose to kill a larva outright, even though the virus has entered the host cells. A female that survives this sublethal infection may transmit the virus to her offspring, a process known as vertical transmission.

Latent infection can also occur, in which the virus lies dormant in the host until stress brought on by overwintering, overcrowding, lack of food, or exposure to insecticides causes an outbreak of virus that kills the host. Latent virus can kill host insects months after the initial infection.

Host Specificity

HzSNPV is highly specific to Heliothis and Helicoverpa larvae. It is not effective against other caterpillars, or against other orders of insect pests. It is noninfectious toward beneficial insects, fish, wildlife, livestock, or humans.

Application Rate

The label recommended application rate for Gemstar LC is 4 to 10 fl. oz. per acre. This equates roughly to 250 to 600 billion OBs per acre. Gemstar LC can be applied at the low label rate (4 fl. oz. per acre) if pest pressure is low, frequent applications are planned, or when mixing or rotating with another insecticide that will provide more rapid knock-down of larvae and / or adults. Multiple sprays at low rates and short intervals are likely to provide better control than a single spray at a high rate.

Application Method

Gemstar LC can be applied using standard ground sprayers, aerial application, and overhead sprinkler chemigation. Apply Gemstar LC in sufficient water to obtain thorough coverage of the crop canopy without excessive runoff. Actual application volume will depend on the type of spray equipment used.

Application Timing

Gemstar LC applications should be targeted against first or second instar larvae. HzSNPV must replicate within the host larva in order to be effective, so Gemstar LC is slower to kill larvae compared to many chemical insecticides having a toxic mode of action. Smaller virus-infected larvae may still cause superficial damage, but they usually die before causing more serious damage. Higher doses of virus are required to kill larger larvae, which may do considerable damage to the crop before the infection advances sufficiently to stop them from feeding. Establishment of HzSNPV infection in the first generation may also carry over into later generations, making them easier to control with other tactics.

Compatibility With Other Pesticides

Gemstar LC can be mixed or applied in rotation with most chemical insecticides in order to provide a broader spectrum of control (including more rapid knock-down effect), to kill moths and eggs as well as larvae, or to control Heliothis or Helicoverpa larvae resistant to chemical insecticides. Due to Gemstar LC’s unique mode of action (viral infection), there is no known cross-resistance with chemical insecticides. Gemstar LC will infect and kill both susceptible and resistant larvae.

Some agricultural chemicals such as foliar fertilizers may cause high pH in the spray tank, which could inactivate Gemstar LC by premature dissolution of the viral OBs (similar to what occurs naturally in the gut of the target larva). In some areas, water used to mix sprays may itself be highly alkaline. Check the pH in the mix tank before adding Gemstar LC. If pH is 9 or higher, buffer to pH 7 to preserve bioactivity.

Do not mix Gemstar LC with any pesticide bearing a label that prohibits tank mixing with other products.

Use of Spray Adjuvants

Because of the way it is made, Gemstar LC contains natural compounds derived from host larvae that can provide some protection from the UV rays in sunlight. Additional protection, as well as enhanced spray deposition and rainfastness, may be obtained by using certain adjuvants with Gemstar LC. Pinolene or related stickers, latex, methylated seed oils, humic acid, and powdered skim milk have been used with some degree of success to enhance the performance of viral insecticides. Avoid mixing Gemstar LC with silicone-based adjuvants intended only as “spreaders.” Such compounds may interfere with the natural ability of the virus to stick to plant surfaces.

Refer to the adjuvant label or see your dealer for more information on a specific adjuvant.

Exposure to sunlight can be reduced and effectiveness of the virus may be increased by spraying Gemstar LC in the late afternoon or early evening. Avoid spraying in intense sunlight.

Using Gemstar LC in Organic Crops

Gemstar LC meets National Organic Program (NOP) requirements and is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production.

Performance of Gemstar LC may be improved by addition of a feeding stimulant such as sugar or molasses at a rate of 5 pounds per acre. Larvae will then ingest virus more quickly as they feed preferentially on spray droplets, reducing the time of exposure of the virus to sunlight and increasing the rate of infection. Molasses may also provide some protection from sunlight.

Storage and Handling

Gemstar LC can be stored at room temperature for up to two months without significant loss of bioactivity. Shelf life can be extended to one year by refrigeration. Gemstar LC can also be frozen for longer term storage (several years) if necessary.

Bioactivity of the virus can be reduced by prolonged exposure to temperatures above 90°F. Shortterm exposure (a few days) will not immediately deactivate the virus. However, always store Gemstar LC in its original bottle in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight.

Shake well before use.

Results From Replicated Field Plot Trials With Gemstar LC
Control of Corn Earworm in Sweet Corn

All rates in pounds of product per acre, applied via overhead sprinkler chemigation in 0.1" of water. Single treatments were applied 5 times, every 5 days. Alternating Gemstar LC and Entrust every 6 days (with 12 days between each of 4 applications of the same product) resulted in 99% reduction in infested ears compared to the untreated check. Trial conducted in 2008 in the Mid-Columbia Basin of Washington.

Control of Tomato Fruitworm in Fresh Tomatoes

All rates are in pounds of product per acre. Six weekly applications via CO2 backpack sprayer in 60 gallons of water per acre. Gemstar LC treatment included 5 ounces of powdered milk as UV screen. Trial conducted in 1994 in North Carolina.

Control of Pyrethroid-Resistant Tobacco Budworm in Cotton

All rates are in pounds of product per acre. Five weekly applications via CO2 backpack sprayer in 7.3 gallons of water per acre. Trial conducted in 1994 in Nueces County, Texas.


Want to know more about Insecticidal Viruses?
  Click here for Insecticidal Viruses 101.