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Poor infectivity of Beauveria bassiana to eggs and immatures causes the failure of suppression on Tetranychus urticae population

  • Shengyong WuEmail author
  • Shovon Chandra Sarkar
  • Jiale Lv
  • Xuenong Xu
  • Zhongren LeiEmail author


The entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, is capable of infecting pest mites, while the effect on different mite stages has rarely been reported. The present study evaluates the effect of several B. bassiana isolates (GZGY-1-3, LNSZ-26, SDDZ-9, XJWLMQ-32, SCWJ-2 and JXJGS-1) on Tetranychus urticae by a series of assays and observations. A potted bean plant assay indicated the fungal sprays resulted in greater reduction of adult T. urticae populations, but poor suppression in eggs and immature stages. During the one-month experiment, the different fungal isolates reduced the numbers of T. urticae eggs, immatures and adults by 38.7–55.2, 3.7–18.7 and 61.0–72.1%, respectively. Laboratory bioassays showed their corrected mortalities were 2.7–3.8, 17.5–25.8 and 63.2–71.2%, respectively, at seven days days post-fungal treatment. Fecundity of female mites was significantly reduced after fungal spray due to the lethal effect on females, while egg hatchability was not affected. Light microscopy observations indicated fungal outgrowths were evident in mite cadavers, but were not visible on eggs. Scanning electronic microscopy observations demonstrated fungal mycelia grew prolifically from the adult mite 60 h following fungal spray, although no symptoms of fungal infection were exhibited in most immature cadavers. Despite the fact that fungal conidia were able to adhere to and germinate on eggshells, and the germ tubes elongated on the shell surface, they were never observed to penetrate the eggs. Our results demonstrating that the failure to control T. urticae on bean plants using B. bassiana, which we attributed to its poor infectivity to mite eggs and immature stages, may provide useful information in future attempts to develop effective mite control strategies.


Entomopathogenic fungi Microbial control Spider mite stages Scanning electron microscopy Egg shell barrier 



We thank Dr. Cecil L. Smith (University of Georgia, USA) for helping with the language editing. This work was supported by Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31501704).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10526_2019_9970_MOESM1_ESM.tif (11.1 mb)
Supplementary Fig. S1 Population fluctuations of T. urticae on potted bean plants following fungal sprays. Initial densities of T. urticae were determined immediately prior to treatment on day 0. B. bassiana suspension, was sprayed at 1 × 107 ml−1 fungal conidia/ml. (a). Eggs; (b). immatures (larvae, protonymphs and deutonymphs) of T. urticae; (c). Adult T. urticae. Each data point and bar represent the mean and SE, respectively. Black arrows signify fungal spray (B. bassiana strains: LNSZ-26; SDDZ-9; XJWLMQ-32; SCWJ-2 and JXJGS-1) (TIFF 11344 kb)
10526_2019_9970_MOESM2_ESM.tif (46.8 mb)
Supplementary Fig. S2 Comparison of mean corrected mortality (± SE) of B. bassiana in different stages of T. urticae at 7 days post-fungal treatment in the laboratory (B. bassiana strains: LNSZ-26; SDDZ-9; XJWLMQ-32; SCWJ-2 and JXJGS-1). Bars with different letters indicate that the corrected mortalities in different stages of T. urticae are significant different (all P’s< 0.05)
10526_2019_9970_MOESM3_ESM.tif (5.1 mb)
Supplementary Fig. S3 Daily oviposition by female T. urticae and egg hatchability after being separately treated with B. bassiana (strain: LNSZ-26, SDDZ-9, XJWLMQ-32, SCWJ-2 and JXJGS-1). (a). Oviposition; (b). Egg hatch rate. Each data point and bar represent the mean and SE, respectively (B. bassiana strains: LNSZ-26; SDDZ-9; XJWLMQ-32; SCWJ-2 and JXJGS-1) (TIFF 5258 kb)
10526_2019_9970_MOESM4_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 21 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant ProtectionChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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