Evaluation of the Entomopathogenic Fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Isaria fumosorosea for Control of Sitophilus oryzae
The entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Isaria fumosorosea were tested against the stored-grain pest Sitophilus myzae. The fungi were isolated from the soil (from three locations in Attica, Greece: B. bassiana from Tatoion, M. anisopliae from Marathon, and I. fumosorosea from Aghios Stefanos) using larvae of Galleria mellonella as bait. Suspensions of 2.11 x 10(7) and 2.11 x 10(8), 1.77 x 10(7) and 1.77 x 10(8), and 1.81 x 10(7) and 1.81 x 10(8) conidia per ml of B. bassiana, M. anisopliae, and I.fumosorosea, respectively, were applied by three treatments: (i) sprayed on food and set in petri dishes with adults of S. myzae, (ii) sprayed on adults of S. oryzae and set in petri dishes without food, and (iii) sprayed on adults of S. myzae and set in petri dishes with food. The observed mortality of S. oryzae adults during the overall exposure period for the lowest, as well as for the highest, concentrations of B. bassiana, M. anisopliae, and I. fumosorosea ranged from 0 to 100%. Concentration was, in most of the cases tested, a critical parameter that determined the "speed of kill" of the exposed insect species for B. bassiana and M. anisopliae. Conversely, concentration was not that critical for I. fumosorosea, and survival was high in some of the combinations tested, even after 14 days of exposure. Both in the highest and the lowest concentrations of fungi, the mortality of S. oryzae adults was higher when the fungi were applied on adults than when they were applied on food. Higher mortality was observed when food was absent than when food was present, in most of the cases tested. The high efficacy levels recorded in the current study indicate that the tested fungi could be effective biocontrol agents against S. oryzae.