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A strain of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae for controlling subterranean termites
- Alates of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, collected after swarming in 2002 died within 48 h, and the cadavers were visibly infected with a fungus. Fungi were picked from the cadavers, transferred to media, and ultimately isolated to purity. The individual fungal cultures were then used to infect Formosan subterranean termite workers. A single fungal isolate, C4-B, taxonomically identified as Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff), was found to cause rapid mortality of Formosan subterranean termite alates. This is the first report of a biological control agent for termite alates. In initial experiments, C4-B was more lethal to both alates and workers compared with M. anisopliae strain ESC 1, previously marketed as the termite biocontrol agent BioBlast. Dose-response assays in which Formosan subterranean termite alates were exposed to a known concentration of C4-B spores revealed that 10(6) spores/microliter killed 100% of the alates in 3 d, both 10(5) and 10(4) spores/microliter in 6 d, 10(3) spores/microliter in 9 d, and 10(0) spores/microliter in 12 d. Assays with workers demonstrated that 10(6) and 10(5) spores/microliter killed 100% of the workers in 6 d. In an experiment to test the transfer of inoculum from infected workers to uninfected nestmates, 62.8% of the workers died in 21 d when only 20% of the workers had been inoculated. Mortality of alates caused by C4-B was tested at two field sites by dispersing fungal spores on grassy lawns and collecting alates from the treated areas. Alates thus infected showed 100% mortality by day 5, whereas only 64.8% of untreated control alates from the same collection area were dead on that day.
Wright, M.S. , Raina, A.K. , Lax, A.R.
Coptotermes formosanus , subterranean termites , termite control , entomopathogenic fungi , Metarhizium anisopliae , biological control agents , pathogenicity , fungal spores , dose response , mortality , worker insects , disease transmission , infection , Louisiana
- Includes references
- Journal of economic entomology 2005 Oct., v. 98, no. 5
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
- Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.