Evangelos Beris


Entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) are considered as important biological control agents of insect pests. They present many advantages in pest control including environmental safety, selective action and ability to infect their host through the cuticle via contact. However, they are able to be pathogenic against insect pests only under a narrow spectrum of environmental conditions. Several biotic and abiotic factors affect viability and pathogenicity of EPF. The effects of temperature, relative humidity (RH) and thermal stress on Beauveria bassiana and Paecilomyces fumosoroseus were evaluated in the present assay. Temperature significantly influenced the percentage of spore germination of the fungi. The optimum temperature for conidial germination of both the fungi was 25˚C while B. bassiana germinated better in temperature values as high as 30˚C. Spore germination was also significantly affected by the exposure of conidia to low (3˚C) or high (40˚C) temperatures for 1 hour (thermal stress). In this case, B. bassiana was negatively affected by the exposure to low temperatures while P. fumosoroseus performed adequately. Relative humidity influenced both spore germination and the pathogenic ability of the fungi to cause infection. Third instar larvae of Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) were treated with conidial suspensions to evaluate pathogenicity. G. mellonella is considered as an insect vulnerable to infections by microbial pathogens and as such, it can be used as a model organism to estimate behavioural responses of other insects caused by EPF. Evaluation of EPF was aimed to provide important data for present and future studies regarding biological control of vineyard pests such as Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) and Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), as well as information about the potential role of EPF within vineyards’ micro-ecosystems


Entomopathogenic fungi; Abiotic factors; Temperature; Biological control; Vineyard pests

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DOI (PDF): https://doi.org/10.33804/pp.005.01.3571


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