, Volume 138, Issue 3, pp 117-125

Temperature and moisture requirements for conidial germination of an isolate of Beauveria bassiana , pathogenic to Rhodnius prolixus

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The effects of temperature, relative humidity and water activity on germination of conidia of an isolate of Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuill. pathogenic to the triatomine vector of Chagas' disease, Rhodnius prolixus Stål., were investigated in vitro. Germination occurred at temperatures between 15 °C and 35 °C under saturated atmosphere and the optima ranged from 25 °C to 3O °C. At the extreme temperatures tested (15 °C and 35 °C) the germination process was delayed, but germination rates reached more than 95%. Germination of B. bassiana conidia was strongly affected by moisture conditions. The availability of water, in both atmospheric and liquid conditions, caused changes in germination times as well as in germination rates. For example, at 25 °C + O.5 °C, germination took place within 20 h at 95.5% RH, whereas it needed 72 h of incubation at 90% RH. Germination times increased as the water activity declined from 0.96 aw to 0.92 aw. Below 0.92 aw, o germination was observed after a 72 h incubation time.