Endophytic Colonization of Pepper (Capsicum annum) Controls Aphids (Myzus persicae Sulzer)
Department of Pharmacy, School of Health Sciences, University of Patras, 26504 Patras, Greece
ELGO-Demeter, Plant Protection Division of Patras, NEO & L. Amerikis, 26444 Patras, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(11), 2239; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9112239
Received: 17 March 2019 / Revised: 20 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endophytic Entomopathogenic Fungi: New approach for controlling serious pests)
Aphids are among the most harmful crop pests, damaging plants by sucking sap or by transmitting pathogenic viruses. Plant infestation by aphids depends on their population growth. Entomopathogenic fungi are essential participants of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, regulating arthropod communities. Many fungal species with a symbiotic–endophytic relation with plants are pathogenic, producing insecticides or insect repellents. The present study investigated the effects of the fungal entomopathogens Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae and Isaria fumosorosea, following their endophytic colonization of the sweet pepper Capsicum annum, on the development of the green peach aphid Myzus persicae. After 21 days, B. bassiana produced 100% aphid mortality, M. anisopliae 90% and I. fumosorosea 83.3%. There were also significant differences in terms of the effect on aphid population in planta and on the survival time of young adults in planta. External mycelium appeared within 96 h after placing aphid cadavers on damp filter paper. PCR confirmed that the mycelium was of B. bassiana, M. anisopliae and I. fumosorosea. DNA sequences collected from this work were matched with existing sequences data in GenBank, using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool. Our results showed that none of the three fungal isolates had an effect in promoting or suppressing the growth of C. annum.