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Integration of Entomopathogenic Fungi into IPM Programs: Studies Involving Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) Affecting Horticultural Crops

1
Faculty of Agronomy, Royal University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2696, Dangkor District, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
2
Centre for Crop Health, Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
3
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Yanco Agricultural Institute, Yanco, New South Wales 2703, Australia
4
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (NSW Department of Primary Industries and Charles Sturt University), Wagga Wagga, New South Wales 2650, Australia
5
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute, Wollongbar, New South Wales 2477, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(10), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11100659
Received: 7 September 2020 / Revised: 20 September 2020 / Accepted: 21 September 2020 / Published: 25 September 2020
Horticultural crops are vulnerable to attack by many different weevil species. Fungal entomopathogens provide an attractive alternative to synthetic insecticides for weevil control because they pose a lesser risk to human health and the environment. This review summarises the available data on the performance of these entomopathogens when used against weevils in horticultural crops. We integrate these data with information on weevil biology, grouping species based on how their developmental stages utilise habitats in or on their hostplants, or in the soil. These patterns of habitat usage can help identify the stages during which pest species are at their most vulnerable, and also help to determine the most effective ways to deploy entomopathogens for their control.
Weevils are significant pests of horticultural crops and are largely managed with insecticides. In response to concerns about negative impacts of synthetic insecticides on humans and the environment, entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) have been developed as an alternative method of control, and as such appear to be “ready-made” components of integrated pest management (IPM) programs. As the success of pest control requires a thorough knowledge of the biology of the pests, this review summarises our current knowledge of weevil biology on nut trees, fruit crops, plant storage roots, and palm trees. In addition, three groups of life cycles are defined based on weevil developmental habitats, and together with information from studies of EPF activity on these groups, we discuss the tactics for integrating EPF into IPM programs. Finally, we highlight the gaps in the research required to optimise the performance of EPF and provide recommendations for the improvement of EPF efficacy for the management of key weevils of horticultural crops. View Full-Text
Keywords: attract-and-kill; Bacillus thuringiensis; Beauveria; endophyte; entomopathogenic nematode; Metarhizium; repellent volatile; sterile male; transmission; weevil attract-and-kill; Bacillus thuringiensis; Beauveria; endophyte; entomopathogenic nematode; Metarhizium; repellent volatile; sterile male; transmission; weevil
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khun, K.K.; Wilson, B.A.L.; Stevens, M.M.; Huwer, R.K.; Ash, G.J. Integration of Entomopathogenic Fungi into IPM Programs: Studies Involving Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) Affecting Horticultural Crops. Insects 2020, 11, 659.

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