, Volume 67, Issue 6, pp 1062-1068
Date: 19 Oct 2012

Attenuation of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana following serial in vitro transfers

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Stability of pathogenicity in continuous in vitro cultivation is desirable for the purpose of large-scale production of a mycoinsecticide. Fungal biocontrol agents may lose virulence when maintain on artificial media, resulting in products of commercially inferior quality. In this research, two isolates (DEBI007 and DEBI008) of entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana were investigated for their stability following fifteen serial in vitro transfers assaying virulence to mealworm larvae, conidiation, and hyphal development on artificial culture as some fungal virulence determinants. Moreover, role of insect cuticle on fungal virulence restoration and protease 1 (Pr1) activity was considered as the most important factor. Although radial hyphal development and colony colour on in vitro culture was not affected following serial transfers, conidiation and Pr1 activity of both fungal isolates were reduced remarkably after fifteen transfers compared with control. Similarly, mean lethal concentration (LC50) values were increased as the number of serial transfers on artificial diet increased, although these increases were not statistically significant in both isolates as the confidential limits of LC50 values were overlapping. Our results revealed that attenuation of entomopathogenic fungi following serial in vitro transfers is a combination of interconnected factors. Other probable components such as pathogenicity determinants in this interaction should be explored in next researches.