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Resporulation of Metarhizium anisopliae granules on soil and mortality of Tenebrio molitor: Implications for wireworm management in sweetpotato

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Shah, S., Ash, G. J. and Wilson, B. A. L. (2023) Resporulation of Metarhizium anisopliae granules on soil and mortality of Tenebrio molitor: Implications for wireworm management in sweetpotato. Annals of Applied Biology, 182 (1). pp. 65-76. ISSN 0003-4746


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/aab.12797

Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/aab.12797


Abstract In Australia, sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is vulnerable to root feeding insect pests such as wireworms (e.g., Agrypnus spp.). The number of registered insecticides to control these insect pests is limited and often pest pressure, for example by wireworms, is severe close to harvest, further limiting what insecticides can be applied. Incorporating biological control agents such as entomopathogenic fungi (e.g., Metarhizium anisopliae) into integrated pest management programmes may be feasible in sweetpotato. M. anisopliae has been shown to be effective in controlling more than 200 insects and it is able to reside and grow in the rhizosphere and rhizoplane, suggesting that M. anisopliae could be a promising candidate against soil insect pests. In the study presented here, M. anisopliae was formulated into calcium alginate granules fortified with nutrients. The resporulation of the fungal granules was tested on four different soil types in the laboratory. The biocontrol efficacy of the resulting fungal growth was also examined using larval mealworms, Tenebrio molitor as a model insect in the laboratory and the glasshouse. Our results indicated that sterilised soil favoured optimal fungal resporulation, although different soil types did not have a significant effect on fungal resporulation. The resulting fungal resporulation and growth on sterilised soil caused high mortality (up to 76%) of larval mealworms in the glasshouse, whereas the fungal granules applied to non-sterile soil demonstrated poor resporulation that led to low mortality (13%) of larval mealworms. The result of this study indicates that the manipulation of microbial populations in field soil is required to enhance the fungal growth and potential insect control against wireworms in the field.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Open access
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science
Plant culture > Food crops
Plant culture > Vegetables
Plant pests and diseases
Live Archive:22 Aug 2022 03:03
Last Modified:08 Feb 2023 03:10

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