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Entomophaga

, Volume 42, Issue 1–2, pp 227–239 | Cite as

Prospects for biopesticides for aphid control

  • R. J. Milner
Article

Abstract

Diseases form an important component of the natural enemy complex of aphids. The most common and obvious of these diseases are entomophthoran fungi such asErynia neoaphidis Remaudiere & Herbert,Entomophthora planchoniana Cornu,Zoophthora radicans (Brefeld) Batko andConidiobolus obscurus (Hall & Dunn) Remaudiere & Keller. The pest status of some aphids such as the pea aphid,Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris), is considerably reduced by natural epizootics of fungal disease. However, disease may contribute little to practical control as it is mainly effective in high density populations when weather conditions are suitable. Introduction of exotic diseases for classical biological control is only rarely possible since most diseases, like their aphid hosts, are distributed world-wide. One exception was the successful introduction into Australia of a strain ofZ. radicans for control of spotted alfalfa aphid,Therioaphis trifolii (Monell) f.maculata in 1979. Attempts to manipulate entomophthoran fungi have had limited success because of problems with mass production, the fragility of the conidia and the need for suitably moist conditions. Hyphomycete fungi such asVerticillium lecanii (Zimm.) Viegas,Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sorokin,Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuill. andPaecilomyces spp. are more suitable for development as mycoinsecticides as they are cheap to mass produce and form stable conidia. “Vertalec™”, a formulation ofV. lecanii, has been sold in small quantities commercially in Britain and parts of Europe for many years and used mainly in glasshouses. Recently promising results have been obtained with use ofM. anisopliae for control of lettuce root aphid,Pemphigus bursarius (L.) in the UK. Laboratory studies on selected isolates ofB. bassiana andPaecilomyces spp. show a promising level of activity. Problems may occur with these species as they can kill aphid predators such as coccinelids. In addition, more research is needed on developing improved formulations which enable control to be achieved under low humidity conditions.

Key-Words

aphids bioinsecticides pathogens biological control fungi review 

Perspectives d’utilisation des biopesticides dans la lutte contre les pucerons

Résumé

Les maladies constituent une part importante du complexe des ennemis naturels des pucerons. Les plus communes et les plus connues sont des champignons entomophthorales tels queErynia neoaphidis Remaudiere & Herbert,Entomophthora planchoniana Comu,Zoophthora radicans (Brefeld) Batko etConidiobolus obscurus (Hall& Dunn) Remaudiere & Keller. La nuisibilité de certains ravagurs comme le puceron du poisAcyrthosiphon pisum (Harris), est considérablement réduite par des épizooties naturelles de maladies fongiques. Cependant, les maladies ne contribuent peut être que faiblement à la régulation naturelle au champ, vu qu’elles sont surtout efficaces sur des populations de densité élevée et dans des conditions climatiques particulières. L’introduction de maladies exotiques dans le cadre d’une lutte biologique classique n’est q ue rarement possible, puisque la plupart des maladies, à l’instar des pucerons-hôtes, sont cosmopolites. Une exception a été celle de l’introduction réussie en Australie d’une souche deZ. radicans pour contrôlerTherioaphis trifolii (Monell) f.maculata en 1979. Les tentatives de manipulation des entomophthorales ont eu un succès limité en raison des problèmes de production de masse, de la fragilité des conidies et de la nécessité de conditions d’humidité convenables. Les champignons hyphomycètes tels queVerticillium lecanii (Zimm.) Viegas,Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sorokin,Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuill. etPaecilomyces spp. sont plus à même d’être utilisés comme mycoinsecticides, étant donné que le coût de leur production de masse est faible et qu’ils forment des conidies stables. Le « Vertalec™ », une formulation deV. lecanii, est vendu dans le commerce, en petites quantités, en Grande-Bretagne et en d’utres parties de l’Europe depuis de nombreuses années, pour étre utilisée prinicipalement sous serre. Récemment des résultats prometteurs ont été obtenus avec l’utilisation deM. anisopliae pour lutter contre le puceron des racines de la laitue,Pemphigus bursarius (L.) en Grande-Bretagne. Des études en laboratoire d’isolats choisis deB. bassiana et dePaecilomyces spp. montrent un niveau d’activité prometteur. Des problèmes peuvent apparaître avec ces espèces car elles peuvent aussi tuer les prédateurs de pucerons tels que les coccinelles. Par ailleurs, des recherches supplémentaires sont nécessaires pour développer des formulations améliorées permettant l’emploi de ces champignons dans des conditions d’humidité basses.

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Copyright information

© Lavoisier Abonnements 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Milner
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of EntomologyCSIROCanberraAustralia

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