Effect of temperature on virulence of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae isolates to Tetranychus evansi
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The virulence of three isolates of Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuill. and 23 isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnik.) Sorok. (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) against the tomato spider mite, Tetranychus evansi Baker and Pritchard (Acari: Tetranychidae), was assessed in the laboratory. The effect of temperature on germination, radial growth and virulence of selected isolates (two isolates of B. bassiana and nine of M. anisopliae) on T. evansi was also investigated in the laboratory. All the fungal isolates tested were pathogenic to the adult females of T. evansi, and there were significant differences in mortality between fungal isolates. The lethal time to 50% mortality (LT50) values ranged from 4.2 to 8.1 days and the LT90 values from 5.6 to 15.1 days. Temperature had significant effects on germination, radial growth and virulence of the various isolates. The best fungal germination was observed at 25 and 30°C, while for the fungal radial growth it was 30°C. All the isolates germinated and grew at all temperatures, but germination and radial growth varied with isolate and temperature. The selected isolates were all virulent to T. evansi, but virulence varied also with isolate and temperature.