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Soil drenching with entomopathogenic fungi for control of the soil-dwelling life stages and adults of the same generation of Spodoptera littoralis (Boisd.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

Garrido-Jurado, I., Resquín-Romero, G., Yousef-Naef, M., Ríos-Moreno, A., Quesada-Moraga, E.
Bulletin of entomological research 2020 v.110 no.2 pp. 242-248
Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium brunneum, Spodoptera littoralis, adults, conidia, eggs, entomopathogenic fungi, fecundity, females, integrated pest management, mortality, prepupae, pupae, soil drenching, sublethal effects, viability, virulence
Four Beauveria bassiana and three Metarhizium brunneum isolates were evaluated, as soil drenches, against Spodoptera littoralis prepupae. Treatment efficacy was determined by assessing total mortality during development from prepupae through to pupae and adults; mortality and sub-lethal effects on reproduction were also quantified for adults emerging from surviving prepupae/pupae. All isolates were pathogenic but overall mortality varied between 31.7 and 83.3% (0% for control); average survival time was 7.5–10.5 days (14.0 days for control). From 1.7–15.0% of adults emerging from surviving prepupae/pupae were deformed (0% in control). Contact with fungal suspensions as prepupae/pupae caused a significant reduction in fecundity of emerging adult females (15–58.9%), and a significant reduction in egg viability (6.8–28.4%) compared with controls. Two isolates were selected for virulence evaluation against S. littoralis prepupae. The LC₅₀s were 1.7 × 10⁷ and 1.8 × 10⁷ conidia ml⁻¹ and the median survival times were 7 and 6 days for isolates EAMa 01/58-Su and EAMb 09/01-Su, respectively. Destruxin A was present in pupae developing from prepupae treated with isolates EAMa 01/58-Su (0.010 ± 0.002 µg pupae⁻¹) and EAMb 09/01-Su (0.015 ± 0.003 µg pupae⁻¹). The use of entomopathogenic fungi as soil drenches could be a key component of S. littoralis IPM strategies due to direct reductions in the number of soil-dwelling life stages and, also, the significant reduction in reproductive potential of surviving adults.