Entomopathogenic Fungi and Their Role in Pest Control
Synthetic chemical pesticides have been the mainstay of insect pest control for over 50 years. However, insecticide resistance, pest resurgence and concern over the environmental impact of agricultural inputs give urgency to the search for alternative, biologically based forms of pest control. The impact on insect populations of natural epizootics caused in particular by fungal and viral pathogens demonstrates the potential of microbial pest control. Seminal attempts towards the end of the 19th Century to use the Deuteromycotina pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae for pest control inspired more recent extensive efforts to harness entomopathogenic fungi for biocontrol. This review outlines the current state of knowledge of insect fungal pathogens as it relates to their present use and future potential as mycoinsecticides. Topics include the commercial status of mycoinsecticides worldwide, constraints on efficiency, all aspects of the development of a fungus-based insecticide, potential targets, limitations on the commercial use of entomopathogenic fungi, and strain improvement.
KeywordsPest Control Entomopathogenic Fungus Beauveria Bassiana Microbial Control Metarhizium Anisopliae
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