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Virulence of entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae against red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier)

Yasin, Muhammad, Wakil, Waqas, Ghazanfar, Muhammad Usman, Qayyum, Mirza Abdul, Tahir, Muhammad, Bedford, Geoffrey O.
Entomological research 2019 v.49 no.1 pp. 3-12
Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, Phoenix dactylifera, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, adults, conidia, entomopathogenic fungi, field crops, forests, fruits, insects, larvae, mortality, mycoses, orchards, soil sampling, vegetables, virulence
Nineteen different isolates of the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana sensu lato (s.l.) and Metarhizium anisopliae s.l. (Ascomycota: Hypocreales), recovered from different soil samples (field crops, fruit orchards, vegetable fields and forests) and insect cadavers were tested against Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) at two different spore concentrations (1 × 10⁷ and 1 × 10⁸ conidia mL⁻¹). Three isolates of B. bassiana and two of M. anisopliae gave >88 % larval and >75 % adult mortality of R. ferrugineus on their highest dose rate respectively. More sporulating cadavers (mycosis) resulted from a high dose rate compared to low dose on both life stages of R. ferrugineus. The current study confirmed the lethal action of B. bassiana and M. anisopliae isolates with mortality levels usually directly proportional to the conidial concentration. This study further confirmed that the isolates recovered from R. ferrugineus dead cadavers gave more mortality compared to the other sources. In the virulence assay two isolates of B. bassiana caused the highest percentage of both larval and adult mortality at all exposure intervals which suggest that they may be the most promising for use in sustainable management programs aimed at microbial control in date palm orchards.