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

Shah, Sudhan and Ash, Gavin J. and Wilson, Bree A. L. (2022) Resporulation of Metarhizium anisopliae granules on soil and mortality of Tenebrio molitor: Implications for wireworm management in sweetpotato. Annals of Applied Biology. pp. 1-12. ISSN 0003-4746

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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.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Crop Health (24 Mar 2014 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Crop Health (24 Mar 2014 -)
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2022 03:22
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2022 03:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: biological insect control, calcium alginate granule, entomopathogenic fungi, soil insects
Fields of Research (2020): 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310703 Microbial ecology
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3199 Other biological sciences > 319999 Other biological sciences not elsewhere classified
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310899 Plant biology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/aab.12797
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/49960

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