is a generalist entomopathogenic fungus known to be virulent against Acari. We investigated Metarhizium brunneum
-7 (Mb7) interactions in three systems of phytophagous mites and their respective plant hosts: Volkamer lemon (Citrus volkameriana
) and the citrus rust mite Phyllocoptruta oleivora
; common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris
) and the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae
; and spring onion (Allium cepa
) and the bulb mite Rhizoglyphus robini
. All three mite species were susceptible to directly applied Mb7 conidia. Results obtained using the standard method for studying endophytic colonization vs. live confocal imaging of plant tissues using the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-transformed fungus differed markedly, demonstrating that microscopy validation was more definite than the standard process of recovery from plant tissue. Endophytic colonization was observed in conidium-infiltrated citrus leaves and in roots of onion plants treated with soil-drenched conidia, but not in common bean treated by either spray or drench of conidia. Endophytic colonization of citrus leaves did not affect the citrus mite population. Drench application in common bean reduced two-spotted mite population. Similarly, drench application in onion reduced bulb mite population. This study emphasizes the importance of the host plant effects on Mb7 control efficacy of mite pests, and the merits of live-imaging techniques in studying endophytic interaction.
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