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Field-Cage Studies of Beauveria bassiana (Hyphomycetes: Moniliaceae) for the Suppression of Adult Western Corn Rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

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The efficacy of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin, was tested as a control agent for adult western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, in walk-in field cages. Suspensions of B. bassiana conidia were applied to corn plants in cages into which laboratory-reared beetles had been released. Beetles were collected at 3 and 5 days post-application and evaluated in the laboratory for mortality. Mortality was 10, 29 and 50%, at rate equivalents of 7 X 1012, 2 X 1013 (two applications), and 5 X 1013 conidia/ ha, respectively. There was no significant difference in mortality of beetles collected at 3 days compared with 5 days post-application. Mortality due to B. bassiana was 24% when beetles were released into field cages 24 h post-application (5 X 1013 conidia/ha) compared with 50% when beetles were present during the application. Beetle mortality declined significantly with increasing time from application in feeding assays carried out with leaf samples removed from plants at 0, 12, 24 and 72 h post-application. Mortality of beetles collected from treated plants within cages and maintained in the laboratory was found to overestimate the population decline by 10% when compared with beetle estimates from treated plants within field cages.
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Keywords: ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGUS; IBEAUVERIA BASSIANAI; IDIABROTICA VIRGIFERA VIRGIFERAI; MICROBIAL CONTROL; WESTERN CORN ROOTWORM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-02-01

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