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Pathogenicity of Three Different Entomopathogenic Fungi, Metarhizium anisopliae IRAN 2252, Nomuraea rileyi IRAN 1020C and Paecilomyces tenuipes IRAN 1026C Against the Potato Tuber Moth, Phthorimaea operculella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)

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The potato tuber moth (PTM), Phthorimaea operculella Zeller, is a prominent pest of potato in many potato cultivation areas such as Iran. Since the potato is one of the most important sources of human food, non-chemical control of the pest is essential. Application of entomopathogenic fungi is a low-risk alternative method to synthetic chemical insecticides. Therefore, we examined the efficacy of Metarhizium anisopliae IRAN 2252, Nomuraea rileyi IRAN 1020C and Paecilomyces tenuipes IRAN 1026C against neonate larvae and eggs of P. operculella under laboratory (26 ± 1 °C, 60 ± 5% relative humidity (RH) and a photoperiod of 16-h light: 8-h dark (L:D)) and greenhouse (26 ± 2 °C, 55 ± 5% RH and a photoperiod of 14-h L: 10-h D) conditions. Probit analysis of toxicity showed that N. rileyi was the most effective fungus against neonate larval penetration into potato tuber with a lethal concentration resulting in 50% mortality (LC50) equivalent to 1 × 103 conidia/ml. Moreover, adult emergence and first generation progenies of PTM were reduced when the LC25 value of each fungus was used. N. rileyi showed the highest toxicity against neonate larvae, pupae and adult emergence of PTM under laboratory and greenhouse conditions with LC50 values equivalent to 2.6 × 102 and 4.2 × 103 conidia/ml, respectively. N. rileyi caused significant egg hatching reduction (LC50 = 4.8 × 104). The results indicated that these entomopathogenic fungi had ovicidal and larvicidal activities against P. operculella and can be used in integrated pest management (IPM) programmes.

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This study was funded by Urmia University, Urmia, Iran (grant number: D 10/485).

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Correspondence to F. Mehrkhou.

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Khorrami, F., Mehrkhou, F., Mahmoudian, M. et al. Pathogenicity of Three Different Entomopathogenic Fungi, Metarhizium anisopliae IRAN 2252, Nomuraea rileyi IRAN 1020C and Paecilomyces tenuipes IRAN 1026C Against the Potato Tuber Moth, Phthorimaea operculella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Potato Res. 61, 297–308 (2018).

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