Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 213–218 | Cite as

Evaluation of the virulence of entomopathogenic fungus, Isaria fumosorosea isolates against subterranean termites Coptotermes spp. (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

  • J. J. Jessica
  • T. L. Peng
  • A. S. Sajap
  • S. H. Lee
  • S. A. Syazwan
Original Paper


The entomopathogenic fungus Isaria fumosorosea Wize, formerly known as Paecilomyces fumosoroseus is reported as a promising biocontrol agent for controlling subterranean termites, particularly those belonging to the family Rhinotermitidae. In Malaysia, the family Rhinotermitidae includes two species of subterranean termites with extremely high economic importance; namely Coptotermes curvignathus Holmgren, and the Asian Subterranean Termite (Coptotermes gestroi Wasmann). To comprehend the potential control of this soil-dwelling fungus against these subterranean termites in Malaysia, an investigation was carried out by testing the pathogenecity of 11 isolates against these termite species. All isolates showed pathogenic potential against the termite (Mortality rate of C. curvignathus: 84.4%; C. gestroi: 67.3%). Isolate PF49 was the most effective against both species of termites and was further tested for its virulence and mycosis. The LC50 values of PF49 against C. curvignathus and C. gestroi were 7.55 × 103 and 1.09 × 102 conidia/ml, respectively. The average number of days required to complete the mycosis process in C. curvignathus and C. gestroi were 4.7 and 8 days, respectively. These fungi are believed useful for protecting living trees, plants, wood, wood structures, and other cellulosic materials susceptible to termite infestation and damage.


Biological control Entomopathogenic fungus Subterranean termites Lethal concentration 



We thank the laboratory equipment and facilities provided by Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products, Universiti Putra Malaysia as a Higher Institutions' Centre of Excellence (HICoE).


  1. Ali S, Huang Z, Ren S (2010) Production of cuticle degrading enzymes by Isaria fumosorosea and their evaluation as a biocontrol agent against diamondback moth. J Pest Sci 83:361–370. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brogden KA, Guthmiller JM, Salzet M, Zasloff M (2005) The nervous system and innate immunity: the neuropeptide connection. Nat Immunol 6:558–564Google Scholar
  3. Butt TM, Jackson CW, Murugan W (2001) Fungi as biocontrol agents, progress, problems and potentials. CBBS Publishing Co, UK, pp 240–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cheong YL, Sajap AS, Hafidzi MN, Omar D, Abood F (2010) Outbreaks of bagworms and their natural enemies in an oil palm, Elaeis guineensis, plantation at Hutan Melintang, Perak, Malaysia. J Entomol 7:141–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Culliney TW, Grace JK (2000) Prospects for the biological control of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), with special reference to Coptotermes formosanus. Bull Entomol Res 90:9–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dunlap CA, Jackson MA, Wright MA (2007) A foam formulation of Paecilomyces fumosoroseus, an entomopathogenic biocontrol agent. Biocontrol Sci Technol 17:513–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hajek AE, St. Leger RJ (1994) Interactions between fungal pathogens and insect host. Annu Rev Entomol 39:293–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hall RA (1984) Epizootic potential for aphids of different isolates of the fungus Verticillum lecanii. Entomophaga 29:311–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hussain A, Tian MY, He YR, Bland JM, Gu WX (2010) Behavioral and electrophysiological responses of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki towards entomopathogenic fungal volatiles: theory and applications in pest management. Biol Control 55:166–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hussain A, Tian MY, Wen SY (2012) Formosan subterranean termites: understanding the disease resistance mechanism. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  11. Hussain A, Li YF, Cheng Y, Liu Y, Chen CC (2013) Immune-related transcriptome of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki workers: the defense mechanism. PLoS ONE 8(7):e69543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kim J, Je Y, Roh J (2010) Production of thermotolerant entomopathogenic Isaria fumosorosea SFP-198 conidia in corn-corn oil mixture. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 37:419–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Krutmuang P, Mekchay S (2005) Pathogenicity of entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae against termites. Paper presented at the Tropentag 2005: conference on international agricultural research for development, Stuttgart, HohenheimGoogle Scholar
  14. Luangsa-ard J, Berkaew P, Ridkaew R, Hywell-Jones N, Isaka M (2009) A beauvericin hot spot in the genus Isaria. Mycol Res 113:1389–1395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Meikle WG, Mercadier G, Rosengaus RB, Kirk AA, Derouané F, Quimby PC (2005) Evaluation of entomopathogenic fungus, Paecilomyces fumosoroseus (Wize) Brown and Smith (Deuteromycota: Hyphomycetes) obtained from Formosan subterranean termites (Isop., Rhinotermitidae). JEN 129(6):315–322Google Scholar
  16. Milner RJ, Huppatz RJ, Swaris SC (1991) A new method for assessment of germination of Metarhizium conidia. J Invertebr Pathol 57:121–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Milner RJ, Staples JA, Lutton GG (1998) The selection of an isolate of the hyphomycete fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae for control of termites in Australia. Biol Control 11:240–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sajap AS, Yaacob AW (1997) Termites from selected building premises in Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia. Malays For 93:203–215Google Scholar
  19. Samson RA (1974) Paecilomyces and some allied Hyphomycetes. Stud Mycol 6:1–119Google Scholar
  20. Shah PA, Pell JP (2003) Entomopathogenic fungi as biological control agents. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 61:413–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shah FA, Wang CS, Butt TM (2005) Nutrition influences growth and virulence of the insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. FEMS Microbiol Lett 251:259–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sun J, Fuxa JR, Henderson G (2003) Effects of virulence, sporulation, and temperature on Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana laboratory transmission in Coptotermes formosanus. J Invertebr Pathol 84:38–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tamashiro M, Fuji JK, Lai PY (1973) A simple method to observe, trap and prepare large number of subterranean termites for laboratory and field experiments. Environ Entomol 2:721–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tho YP (1992) Termites of Peninsular Malaysia. Malay For Rec 36:1–224Google Scholar
  25. Wood TG (1978) Food and feeding habits of termites. In: Brian MV (ed) Production ecology of ants and termites. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  26. Wright MS, Cornelius ML (2012) Mortality and repellent effects of microbial pathogens on Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). BMC Microbiol 12:291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wright MS, Connick WJ, Jackson MA Jr (2003) Use of Paecilomyces spp. as pathogenic agents against subterranean termites. U.S. Patent No. 7390,480Google Scholar
  28. Yanagawa A, Shimizu S (2007) Resistance of the termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki to Metarhizium anisopliae due to grooming. Biol Control 53:75–85Google Scholar
  29. Yanagawa A, Fujiwara-Tsujii N, Akino T, Yoshimura T, Yanagawa T (2012) Odor aversion and pathogen-removal efficiency in grooming behavior of the termite Coptotermes formosanus. PLoS ONE 7(10):e47412CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Jessica
    • 1
  • T. L. Peng
    • 2
  • A. S. Sajap
    • 1
  • S. H. Lee
    • 1
    • 3
  • S. A. Syazwan
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Forest Management, Faculty of ForestryUniversiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)SerdangMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity Malaysia KelantanKota BharuMalaysia
  3. 3.Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest ProductsUniversiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)SerdangMalaysia
  4. 4.Mycology and Pathology Laboratory, Forest Biodiversity DivisionForest Research Institute MalaysiaKepongMalaysia

Personalised recommendations