Evaluating Metarhizium brunneum F52 microsclerotia in hydromulch formulations using different tackifiers under forest and orchard conditions
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Microsclerotia of the entomopathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum Petch strain F52; Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) were sprayed in a hydromulch formulation onto wood samples to test persistence and biological control efficacy when exposed on forest and orchard trees. The density of viable conidia and retention of hydromulch were not significantly affected by the tackifier in the formulation (psyllium, xanthan, or a mixture of both). Forest samples had a maximum conidial density and more viable conidia (7.2 × 105 conidia cm−2) than orchard samples (1.4 × 105 conidia cm−2). Increased rainfall, temperature and the time that samples were outdoors were critical factors for conidial density. Asian longhorned beetles [Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky); Coleoptera: Cerambycidae] exposed to orchard samples in laboratory bioassays did not have significantly less mortality compared to forest samples, indicating that hydromulch may be feasible in open sunny conditions, if sufficient moisture is present.
KeywordsEntomopathogenic fungus Environmental persistence Anoplophora glabripennis Augmentation biological control Hypocreales Cerambycidae
We thank the Alphawood Foundation for support of the beetle colony and the Litwin Foundation for research support. Thanks to Angela Payne for providing the microsclerotial granules. Great thanks go to undergraduate assistants Claire Moreland-Ochoa, Nadege Aoki, and Eva Morgan for their exceptional contributions to the project. We also thank Mike Griggs for help with setting up UV solar sensors, Eric Shatt at the Cornell Plantations, Ed Lee for providing hydromulch and technical support, the reviewers and editor, and especially Françoise Vermeylen for statistical help.
This work was supported by the Litwin Foundation and the Alphawood Foundation.
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