Role of Production Technology in Mycoinsecticide Development

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Abstract

Insect pathogenic fungi, particularly conidia-forming Deuteromycetes, have the potential to be a new class of bioinsecticide suitable for widespread applications in agriculture. The mode of action, penetration through the insect cuticle, makes fungi effective against a wide range of insect pests that cannot be controlled effectively by bacterial, viral, or protozoan pathogens that act through ingestion. Fungi can be delivered in a variety of formulations that act as direct contact sprays, foliage sprays, bait, or granules. Further advantages are their mammalian safety (Siegel and Shadduck, 1990) and minimal impacts on nontarget insects due to the relative host specificity of different isolates of the same species (Goettel et al., 1990). The ability to select host-specific isolates of the same fungus species also has significant practical importance in bioinsecticide development. A number of target-specific mycoinsecticides can be developed from one fungus species using the same production processes and equipment and having similar requirements for formulation, storage, application, and regulatory compliance.