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Modelling Beauveria bassiana horizontal transmission

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1 We modelled horizontal transmission of Beauveria bassiana in Colorado potato beetle (CPB) between larval cadavers and soil inhabiting prepupae.

2 The rate of disease transmission, based on the probability of a prepupa contacting sporulating cadavers on the soil surface, is a non-linear function of cadaver density and also dependent upon temperature.

3 The spatial pattern of cadavers is needed to estimate prepupal contacts with cadavers. Observational field studies determined Johnson distributions to model the spatial pattern of cadavers and prepupae in the field. The model also implicitly incorporates within-field larval spatial pattern into estimates of field-level horizontal transmission.

4 Potential for horizontal transmission is higher in simulations using weather data from the warmer year of 1995, than in simulations of the cooler growing season of 1993.

5 Simulations of CPB populations under northern Maine climatic conditions recorded in 1993 and 1995 suggest that horizontal transmission can range from 3 to 24% depending upon the timing of primary infection of larvae in the field.

6 Two simulated sequential applications of B. bassiana targeted at peak first instars resulted in maximum horizontal infection in both years.

7 Sensitivity analysis suggests that horizontal transmission is most sensitive to changes in the proportion of cadavers that sporulate and least sensitive to changes in the time between larval death and the onset of cadaver sporulation.

8 Field validation of the model indicates good prediction of one measure of horizontal infection, the proportion of prepupae which eventually sporulated after being released in controlled field experiments.
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Keywords: Beauveria bassiana; Colorado potato beetle; horizontal transmission; modelling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences and 2: Department of BioSystems Science and Engineering, University of Maine, Orono,

Publication date: 2000-02-01

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