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Insects 2019, 10(4), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10040094

Efficacy of Two Entomopathogenic Fungi, Metarhizium brunneum, Strain F52 Alone and Combined with Paranosema locustae against the Migratory Grasshopper, Melanoplus sanguinipes, under Laboratory and Greenhouse Conditions

1
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
2
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO UN), 00153 Rome, Italy
3
Department of Agriculture, USDA, Agriculture Research Service (ARS), Sidney, MT 59270, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 30 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Pests in Protected Culture)
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Abstract

Grasshopper outbreaks cause significant damage to crops and grasslands in US. Chemical control is widely used to suppress these pests but it reduces environmental quality. Biological control of insect pests is an alternative way to reduce the use of chemical insecticides. In this context, two entomopathogenic fungi, Metarhizium brunneum strain F52 and Paranosema locustae were evaluated as control agents for the pest migratory grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes under laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Third-instar grasshoppers, reared in the laboratory, were exposed up to fourteen days to wheat bran treated with different concentrations of each of the fungi alone or the two pathogens combined. In the greenhouse, nymphs were placed individually in cages where they were able to increase their body temperatures by basking in the sun in an attempt to inhibit the fungal infection, and treated with each pathogen alone or in combination. Mortality was recorded daily and presence of fungal outgrowth in cadavers was confirmed by recording fungal mycosis for two weeks’ post-treatment (PT). For combination treatment, the nature of the pathogen interaction (synergistic, additive, or antagonistic effects) was also determined. In laboratory conditions, all treatments except P. locustae alone resulted in grasshopper mortality. The application of the pathogen combinations caused 75% and 77%, mortality for lower and higher concentrations, respectively than each of the pathogens alone. We infer a synergistic effect occurred between the two agents. In greenhouse conditions, the highest mortalities were recorded in combination fungal treatments with a M. brunneum dose (60% mortality) and with a combination of the two pathogens in which M. brunneum was applied at high rate (50%) two weeks after application. This latter combination also exhibited a synergistic effect. Exposure to the P. locustae treatment did not lead to mortality until day 14 PT. We infer that these pathogens are promising for developing a biopesticide formulation for rangeland pest grasshopper management. View Full-Text
Keywords: Metarhizium brunneum F52; Paranosema locustae; Melanoplus sanguinipes; combination; fungal entomopathogens; biological control; synergistic; laboratory; greenhouse Metarhizium brunneum F52; Paranosema locustae; Melanoplus sanguinipes; combination; fungal entomopathogens; biological control; synergistic; laboratory; greenhouse
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Dakhel, W.H.; Latchininsky, A.V.; Jaronski, S.T. Efficacy of Two Entomopathogenic Fungi, Metarhizium brunneum, Strain F52 Alone and Combined with Paranosema locustae against the Migratory Grasshopper, Melanoplus sanguinipes, under Laboratory and Greenhouse Conditions. Insects 2019, 10, 94.

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