The impact of nutrition on spore yields for various fungal entomopathogens in liquid culture

  • Fernando E. Vega
  • Mark A. Jackson
  • Guy Mercadier
  • Tadeusz J. Poprawski


Spore yields were measured for various fungal entomopathogens grown in six nutritionally different liquid media with low and high carbon concentrations (8 and 36 g l−1, respectively) at carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratios of 10:1, 30:1 and 50:1. Six fungi were tested: two Beauveria bassiana strains, three Paecilomyces fumosoroseus strains and one Metarhizium anisopliae strain. Spore yields were examined after 2, 4 or 7 days growth. In general, highest spore yields were obtained in media containing 36 g/l and a C:N ratio of 10:1. After 4 days growth, highest spore yields were measured in the three Paecilomyces isolates (6.9–9.7 × 108 spores ml−1). Spore production by the B. bassiana isolates was variable with one isolate producing high spore yields (12.2 × 108 spores ml−1) after 7 days growth. The M. anisopliae isolate produced low spore concentrations under all conditions tested. Using a commercial production protocol, a comparison of spore yields for the coffee berry borer P. fumosoroseus and a commercial B. bassiana isolate showed that highest spore concentrations (7.2 × 108 spores ml−1) were obtained with the P. fumosoroseus isolate 2-days post-inoculation. The ability of the P. fumosoroseus strain isolated from the coffee berry borer to rapidly produce high concentrations of spores prompted further testing to determine the desiccation tolerance of these spores. Desiccation studies showed that ca. 80% of the liquid culture produced P. fumosoroseus spores survived the air-drying process. The virulence of freshly produced, air-dried and freeze-dried coffee berry borer P. fumosoroseus blastospores preparations were tested against silverleaf whiteflies (Bemisia argentifolii). While all preparations infected and killed B. argentifolii, fresh and air-dried preparations were significantly more effective. These results suggest that screening potential fungal biopesticides for amenability to liquid culture spore production can aid in the identification of commercially viable isolates. In this study, P. fumosoroseus was shown to possess the production and stabilization attributes required for commercial development.

Beauveria biocontrol liquid production Metarhizium Paecilomyces 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando E. Vega
    • 1
  • Mark A. Jackson
    • 2
  • Guy Mercadier
    • 3
  • Tadeusz J. Poprawski
    • 4
  1. 1.Insect Biocontrol LaboratoryUSDA, ARSBeltsvilleUSA; Tel.:
  2. 2.PeoriaUSA
  3. 3.European Biological Control Laboratory, USDA, ARSCampus International de BaillarguetMontferrier-sur-LezFrance
  4. 4.Deceased, Texas A & M Agricultural Experiment Station and USDA-ARS Beneficial Insects Research UnitWeslacoUSA

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