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55, No. 1, 2010; Pages: 159 - 185

Ecological factors in the inundative use of fungal entomopathogens

Stefan T. Jaronski

US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, 1500 N. Central Ave., Sidney, MT, 59270, USA.


Fungal entomopathogens have been developed in numerous countries as biocontrol agents with more than 100 mycoinsecticide products commercially available in 2006. The chief, perhaps sole, use of these mycoinsecticides has been as inundative agents, within a chemical paradigm. Large numbers of propagules are applied in an attempt to overwhelm by brute force many of the factors that keep a pathogen in nonepizootic equilibrium with its host. This review attempts to summarize what we know about the abiotic and biotic factors that affect the efficacy of these mycoinsecticides in both foliar and soil applications. Sunlight, humidity, temperature, and phylloplane-associated factors can affect both immediate efficacy and persistence on plants. Likewise, soil texture-moisture interactions, temperature, and a host of biotic factors can affect mycoinsecticides in the soil. Despite much research, our understanding of these ecological aspects is imperfect, especially in a holistic, dynamic sense.

Keywords: Metarhizium, Beauveria, Persistence, Efficacy, UV, Humidity, Temperature, Phylloplane, Soil



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