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Journal of Fungi

Sabina Matveev

Victoria Reingold

Eden Yossef

Noa Levy

Chandrasekhar Kottakota

Guy Mechrez

Alex Protasov

Eduard Belausov

Nitsan Birnbaum

Michael Davidovitz

Dana Ment

 

Direct contact between the conidia of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) and their host is a prerequisite to successful infection; the host can, therefore, be infected by both direct treatment and by transmission of fungal inoculum from infested surfaces. This unique characteristic makes EPF especially relevant for the control of cryptic insects. In the case of the red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, the eggs and larvae are almost inaccessible to direct-contact treatment. The objective of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of conidia transmission from a treated surface to host eggs and larvae. Foam pieces infested with Metarhizium brunneum conidial powder, conidial suspension, or distilled water were used as a laying surface for RPW females. The number of eggs laid was not affected by the EPF treatments and ranged from 2 to 14 eggs per female. However, hatching rate and larval survival were significantly reduced in the conidial powder treatment, resulted in 1.5% hatching and no live larvae. In the conidial suspension treatment, 21% of laid eggs hatched, compared to 72% in the control treatment. In both M. brunneum treatments, females’ proboscis, front legs and ovipositor were covered with conidia. The females transferred conidia in both treatments to the laying holes, reaching up to 15 mm in depth. This resulted in reduced egg-hatching rate and significant larval mortality due to fungal infection. The stronger effect on egg and larval survival using dry conidia seemed to result from better conidial adhesion to the female weevil in this formulation. In future studies, this dissemination mechanism will be examined as a prevention strategy in date plantations.

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The Dissemination of Metarhizium brunneum Conidia by Females of the Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, Suggests a New Mechanism for Prevention Practices

Sabina Matveev

Victoria Reingold

Eden Yossef

Noa Levy

Chandrasekhar Kottakota

Guy Mechrez

Alex Protasov

Eduard Belausov

Nitsan Birnbaum

Michael Davidovitz

Dana Ment

 

The Dissemination of Metarhizium brunneum Conidia by Females of the Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, Suggests a New Mechanism for Prevention Practices

Direct contact between the conidia of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) and their host is a prerequisite to successful infection; the host can, therefore, be infected by both direct treatment and by transmission of fungal inoculum from infested surfaces. This unique characteristic makes EPF especially relevant for the control of cryptic insects. In the case of the red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, the eggs and larvae are almost inaccessible to direct-contact treatment. The objective of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of conidia transmission from a treated surface to host eggs and larvae. Foam pieces infested with Metarhizium brunneum conidial powder, conidial suspension, or distilled water were used as a laying surface for RPW females. The number of eggs laid was not affected by the EPF treatments and ranged from 2 to 14 eggs per female. However, hatching rate and larval survival were significantly reduced in the conidial powder treatment, resulted in 1.5% hatching and no live larvae. In the conidial suspension treatment, 21% of laid eggs hatched, compared to 72% in the control treatment. In both M. brunneum treatments, females’ proboscis, front legs and ovipositor were covered with conidia. The females transferred conidia in both treatments to the laying holes, reaching up to 15 mm in depth. This resulted in reduced egg-hatching rate and significant larval mortality due to fungal infection. The stronger effect on egg and larval survival using dry conidia seemed to result from better conidial adhesion to the female weevil in this formulation. In future studies, this dissemination mechanism will be examined as a prevention strategy in date plantations.

Scientific Publication
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