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Abstract

We studied the effect of three Pandora neoaphidis isolates from one Sitobion avenae population, three temperatures, and two aphid species namely S. avenae and Rhopalosiphum padi on (i) aphid mortality, (ii) time needed to kill aphids, and (iii) aphid average daily and lifetime fecundity. A total of 38% of S. avenae and 7% of R. padi died and supported fungus sporulation. S. avenae was killed 30% faster than R. padi. Average daily fecundity was negatively affected only in S. avenae inoculated with, but not killed by, P. neoaphidis. Nevertheless, lifetime fecundity of both aphid species inoculated and sporulating with P. neoaphidis was halved compared to lifetime fecundity of surviving aphids in the control. Increased temperature resulted in higher mortality rates but did not consistently affect lethal time or fecundity. Results suggest that (i) temperature effects on virulence differ between isolates, even when obtained within the same host population, and (ii) even though an isolate does not kill a host it may reduce its fecundity. Our findings are important for the understanding of P. neoaphidis epizootiology and for use in pest-natural enemy modelling.

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Abstract

Pandora neoaphidis and Entomophthora planchoniana are widespread and important specialist fungal pathogens of aphids in cereals (Sitobion avenae and Rhopalosiphum padi). The two aphid species share these pathogens and we compare factors influencing susceptibility and resistance. Among factors that may influence susceptibility and resistance are aphid behavior, conspecific versus heterospecific host, aphid morph, life cycle, and presence of protective endosymbionts. It seems that the conspecific host is more susceptible (less resistant) than the heterospecific host, and alates are more susceptible than apterae. We conceptualize the findings in a diagram showing possible transmission in field situations and we pinpoint where there are knowledge gaps.

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Abstract

We investigated the ability of the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana strain GHA to endophytically colonize sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) and its impact on plant growth. We used foliar spray, stem injection, and soil drench inoculation methods. All three inoculation methods resulted in B. bassiana colonizing sugarcane tissues. Extent of fungal colonization differed significantly with inoculation method (χ2 = 20.112, d. f. = 2, p < 0.001), and stem injection showed the highest colonization level followed by foliar spray and root drench. Extent of fungal colonization differed significantly with plant part (χ2 = 33.072, d. f. = 5, p < 0.001); stem injection resulted in B. bassiana colonization of the stem and to some extent leaves; foliar spray resulted in colonization of leaves and to some extent, the stem; and soil drench resulted in colonization of roots and to some extent the stem. Irrespective of inoculation method, B. bassiana colonization was 2.8 times lower at 14–16 d post inoculation (DPI) than at 7–10 DPI (p = 0.020). Spraying leaves and drenching the soil with B. bassiana significantly (p = 0.01) enhanced numbers of sett roots. This study demonstrates for the first time that B. bassiana can endophytically colonize sugarcane plants and enhance the root sett and it provides a starting point for exploring the use of this fungus as an endophyte in management of sugarcane pests.

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Abstract

Mulching of soil beds of strawberry fields is usually done with polyethylene film in southern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. This material is relatively expensive and difficult to discard after use. In some countries, mulching is done with the use of organic material that could have an advantage over the use of plastic for its easier degradation after use, and for favoring edaphic beneficial organisms. Predatory mites (especially Gamasina, Mesostigmata) may be abundant in the soil and could conceivably move to the soil surface and onto the short-growing strawberry plants at night, helping in the control or pest arthropods. The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, is considered an important strawberry pest in that region, where the fungus Neozygites floridana (Weiser and Muma) has been found to infect it. Different mulching types could affect the incidence of this pathogen. Dehydrated coffee husk and pulp (DCHP) is a byproduct readily available in southern Minas Gerais, where could be used as organic mulching in strawberry beds. The temporary contact of that material with the soil of a patch of natural vegetation could facilitate its colonization by edaphic predatory mites helpful in the control of strawberry pests. The objective of this work was to study the effect of mulching type on the population dynamics of the two-spotted spider mite, associate mites and N. floridana, in a greenhouse and in the field. The use of DCHP increased the number of edaphic Gamasina on strawberry plants—Proctolaelaps pygmaeus (Müller) (Melicharidae) and Blattisocius dentriticus (Berlese) (Blattisociidae) were observed on strawberry leaflets, mainly in nocturnal samplings, indicating their possible daily migration from soil to plants. Lower levels of two-spotted spider mite occurred on plants from pots or soil beds mulched with DCHP instead of polyethylene film, possibly because of the slightly higher levels of mites of the family Phytoseiidae and infection by N. floridana. Adding DCHP onto the floor of natural vegetation did not result in higher diversity or levels of gamasine mites on DCHP. Complementary studies should be conducted to find ways to increase diversity and density of those organisms in strawberry beds, in an attempt to improve biological control of strawberry pests. The decision to use DCHP for mulching should also take into account other factors such as strawberry yield, costs and efficiency of weed management, to be evaluated in subsequent studies.

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Abstract

Neozygites floridana is a pathogenic fungus and natural enemy of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae), which is an important polyphagous plant pest. The aim of this study was to reveal and predict what combination of temperature, relative humidity (RH), and time that enables and promotes primary conidia production and capilliconidia formation in N. floridana (Brazilian isolate ESALQ 1420), in both a detached leaf assay mimicking climatic conditions in the leaf boundary layer and in a semi-field experiment. In the detached leaf assay, a significant number of conidia were produced at 90% RH but the highest total number of primary conidia and proportion of capilliconidia was found at 95 and 100% RH at 25 °C. Positive temperature and RH effects were observed and conidia production was highest in the 8 to 12 h interval. The semi-field experiment showed that for a >90% probability of N. floridana sporulation, a minimum of 6 h with RH >90% and 10 h with temperatures >21 °C, or 6 h with temperatures >21 °C and 15 h with RH >90% was needed. Our study identified suitable conditions for primary- and capilliconidia production in this Brazilian N. floridana isolate. This information provides an important base for building models of a Decision Support System (DSS) where this natural enemy may be used as a tool in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and a base for developing in vivo production systems of N. floridana.

Abstract

The plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium langsethiae produces the highly potent mycotoxins HT-2 and T-2. Since these toxins are frequently detected at high levels in oat grain lots, they pose a considerable risk for food and feed safety in Norway, as well as in other north European countries. To reduce the risk of HT-2/T- 2-contaminated grain lots to enter the food and feed chain, it is important to identify factors that influence F. langsethiae infection and mycotoxin development in oats. However, the epidemiology of F. langsethiae is unclear. A three-year survey was performed to reveal more of the life cycle of F. langsethiae and its interactions with oats, other Fusarium species, as well as insects, mites and weeds. We searched for inoculum sources by quantifying the amount of F. langsethiae DNA in crop residues, weeds, and soil sampled from a selection of oat-fields. To be able to define the onset of infection, we analysed the amount of F. langsethiae DNA in oat plant material sampled at selected growth stages (between booting and maturation), as well as the amount of F. langsethiae DNA and HT-2 and T-2 toxins in the mature grain. We also studied the presence of possible insect- and mite vectors sampled at the selected growth stages using Berlese funnel traps. The different types of materials were also analysed for the presence F. graminearum DNA, the most important deoxynivalenol producer observed in Norwegian cereals, and which presence has shown a striking lack of correlation with the presence of F. langsethiae in oat. Results show that F. langsethiae DNA may occur in the oat plant already before heading and flowering. Some F. langsethiae DNA was observed in crop residues and weeds, though at relatively low levels. No Fusarium DNA was detected in soil samples. Of the arthropods that were associated with the collected oat plants, aphids and thrips species were dominating. Further details will be given at the meeting.

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the natural occurrence of Beauveria spp. in soil, from infections in the stink bug Piezodorus guildinii, an important pest of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and as endophytes in bean plant tissue. Twelve conventional and 12 organic common bean fields in the Villa Clara province, Cuba were sampled from September 2014 to April 2015. One hundred and fifty Beauveria isolates were obtained from soil samples, bean plant parts and stink bugs. The overall frequency of occurrence of Beauveria isolates in conventional fields (8.4%) was significantly lower than that in organic fields (23.6%). Beauveria were also obtained significantly more frequently from bean roots in organic fields (15.0%) compared to bean roots in conventional fields (3.3%). DNA sequencing of the intergenic Bloc region was performed for Beauveria species identification. All isolates where characterized as Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivelli) Vuillemin, and clustered with isolates of neotropical origin previously described as AFNEO_1. The Cuban B. bassiana isolates formed five clusters in the phylogeny. Isolates of two clusters originated from all four locations, organic and conventional fields, as well as soil, plants and stink bugs. Organic fields contained isolates of all five clusters while conventional fields only harbored isolates of the two most frequent ones. Mating type PCR assays revealed that mating type distribution was skewed, with MAT1/MAT2 proportion of 146/4, indicating limited potential for recombination. The present study is the first to report of B. bassiana as a naturally occurring endophyte in common bean. Further, it shows that B. bassiana occurs naturally in diverse environments of common bean fields, and constitutes a potential reservoir of natural enemies against pest insects particularly in organic fields.

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Abstract

Despite global deforestation some regions, such as Europe, are currently experiencing rapid reforestation. Some of this is unintended woodland encroachment onto farmland as a result of reduced livestock pasture management. Our aim was to determine the likely impacts of this on exposure to ticks and tickborne disease risk for sheep in Norway, a country experiencing ecosystem changes through rapid woodland encroachment as well as increases in abundance and distribution of Ixodes ricinus ticks and tick-borne disease incidence. We conducted surveys of I. ricinus ticks on ground vegetation using cloth lure transects and counts of ticks biting lambs on spring pastures, where lambs are exposed to infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of tick-borne fever in livestock. Pastures had higher densities of I. ricinus ticks on the ground vegetation and more ticks biting lambs if there was more tree cover in or adjacent to pastures. Importantly, there was a close correlation between questing tick density on pastures and counts of ticks biting lambs on the same pasture, indicating that cloth lure transects are a good proxy of risk to livestock of tick exposure and tick-borne disease. These findings can inform policy on environmental tick control measures such as habitat management, choice of livestock grazing area and off-host application of tick control agents.

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Abstract

Fields experiments were conducted during two growing seasons (2010–2011 and 2012–2013) at three seeding dates to identify stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) species and to determine their seasonal population density fluctuation and damage caused to three common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivars “Ica Pijao,” “Cubacueto 25–9,” and “Chévere.” Stink bug species observed were Nezara viridula (L.), Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood), Chinavia rolstoni (Rolston), Chinavia marginatum (Palisot de Beauvois), and Euschistus sp. The most prevalent species was N. viridula in both seasons. The largest number of stink bugs was found in beans seeded at the first (mid September) and third (beginning of January) seeding dates. Population peaked at BBCH 75 with 1.75, 0.43, and 1.25 stink bugs/10 plants in 2010–2011 and with 2.67, 0.45, and 1.3 stink bugs/10 plants in 2012–2013 in the fields seeded the first, second, and third seeding dates, respectively. The lowest numbers of stink bugs were found in beans seeded at the second (mid November) seeding date. A significant negative correlation between relative humidity and number of stink bugs was found in 2010–2011, and a similar tendency was observed in 2012–2013. The highest seed and pod damage levels occurred in cv. “Chévere” and the lowest in cv. “ICA Pijao” during both seasons. Results suggest that cv. “ICA Pijao” and the second (mid November) seeding date is the best choice to reduce stink bug damage.

Abstract

Researchers in plant pathology and entomology often study the interaction between a host plant and its pathogen or an insect pest separately. Although studying single pathogen or insect interactions with a host plant is critical to understand the basic infection processes and to model each disease or pest attack separately, this is an extreme simplification of nature’s complexity, where multiple pests and pathogens often appear in parallel and interact with each other and their host plant. Effective management of pests and diseases require understanding of the complex interaction beteween diseases and pests on the host. Under natural conditions, wheat plants are subjected to attack by several insects and pathogens simultaneously or sequentially. The Bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) and the necrotrophic pathogen Parastagonospora nodorum (syn. Stagonospora nodorum) the causal agent of Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB) are economically important pests of wheat in Norway. Since they colonize a common host, they may interact directly through competition for resources or indirectly by affecting the host response either positively (induced resistance) or negatively (induced susceptibility or biopredisposition). The effect of aphid infestation on P. nodorum infection and development of the disease could be an important factor in predicting SNB epidemics. However, studies on this multitrophic interactions are scarce. We conducted controlled greenhouse experiments to study the effect of aphid infestation on subsequent SNB development. The wheat cultivar ‘Bjarne’ was treated as follows:1) Aphid infested + insecticide sprayed + P. nodorum inoculated; 2) Insecticide sprayed + P. nodorum inoculated; 3) Water sprayed + P. nodorum inoculated; 4) Control plants (without aphid, insecticide or P. nodorum). When plants were at ca. BBCH 37, 18 adult female aphids (R. padi) were released per pot (treatment 1). Aphid inoculated plants were kept in an insect proof cage in a greenhouse compartment at 20°C, 70% RH, and 16 h photoperiod. Plants for the other treatments were kept in separate insect proof cages in the same greenhouse. Ten days after aphid release, plants infested with aphids (treatment 1) were sprayed with the insecticide BISCAYA (a.i. thiacloprid) at recommended concentration to remove aphids. Plants in treatment 2 and 3 were sprayed with the insecticide and water, respectively. Twenty-four hours after application of the insecticide or water, plants in treatment 1, 2, and 3 were inoculated with P. nodorum spore suspension (106 spores ml-1). The experiment included three replicates and was repeated two times. SNB incidence and severity were recorded. SNB incidence and severity were significantly higher on aphid infested plants than on non-infested plants (P < 0.05). Ten days after P. nodorum inoculation, disease severity were about 3-fold higher on aphid infested plants (treatment 1) than on non-infested plants (treatment 2 and 3). Plants in the blank control (treatment 4) were free of aphids and showed no symptoms of SNB . Infestation of wheat plants by the bird cherry-oat aphid prior to fungal inoculation enhanced the severity of SNB. P. nodorum is a necrotrophic pathogen that lives on nutrients from disintegrated plant cells. The increase in severity of SNB on aphid infested plants could be due to the increased number of dead or dying cells around the aphids feeding sites. However, whether aphids activity induced local or systemic susceptbility to plants is not yet known and needs to be studied further.

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Abstract

In this chapter we will focus on the tick Ixodes ricinus, with its main geographical distribution in Europe. It is known to transmit a variety of pathogens, among them Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis. Tick population control is one of the measures to reduce the incidence of tick-borne diseases. Due to non-target effects of chemical acaricides, acquired resistance against chemical acaricides and increased regulations, there is a demand for sustainable control measures that may be used in integrated vector management (IVM) of ticks. This chapter describes and evaluates the present knowledge on biological control of I. ricinus as an alternative to the use of chemical acaricides. Biological control makes use of living organisms (e.g. fungi, bacteria, nematodes, invertebrate predators, parasitoids) to suppress a pest population. The natural occurrence of these organisms in I. ricinus and the use of these organisms as biological control agents against I. ricinus are reviewed. Entomopathogenic fungi (Beauveria and Metarhizium spp.) are the most commonly used biocontrol agents against ticks. A variety of nematode species are also shown to be effective against different tick species, but the knowledge on the operational use of invertebrate predators and parasitoids to control ticks is limited. We conclude that there are several candidates for the biological control of ticks, but that the knowledge on the natural occurrence and efficacy of these to control I. ricinus populations is very limited. There is, therefore, a need of more studies on naturally occurring enemies of I. ricinus to be able to suggest possible biocontrol candidates. These candidates should be tested in controlled laboratory and field studies with the aim to develop elegant, precise and effective biocontrol strategies for the control of I. ricinus that may be used alone or in combination with other control strategies in IVM.

Abstract

Aphids in cereals are an important problem in Europe. Entomopathogenic fungi in the Phylum Entomophthoromycota are among their natural enemies. Under certain conditions, they can cause epizootic events and control pest aphid populations. This epizootic development is affected by many abiotic and biotic factors such as aphid species and their host plant (including weeds within the crop), fungal species and isolates, and temperature. Studies from Denmark, UK, Slovakia and suggest that the genus Pandora is the most prevalent fungal pathogen of the English grain aphid (Sitobion avenae). Which fungal species that is the most prevalent in populations of the other important aphid species in cereals in Europe, the Bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi), is less clear. We chose, however, to use Pandora to assess the biological control potential of Entomophthoromycota against aphids in cereals and to produce data that might be used in a pest-warning model incorporating the effect of this natural enemy. This was done by conducting laboratory studies on the virulence of two Pandora isolates (collected in the same field) on R. padi and Myzus persicae at three temperatures (12, 15 and 18◦C). M. persicae is a polyphagous aphid that may be present on weeds. It can be an alternative host for Pandora and hence might also affect the epidemic development of Pandora in aphids that are cereal pests. Our preliminary results show that R. padi is more resistant to the tested Pandora isolates than M. persicae. The two Pandora isolates had different virulence in the two aphid species tested. The temperature did not influence the virulence.

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Abstract

This contribution demonstrates an example of experimental automatic image analysis to detect spores prepared on microscope slides derived from trapping. The application is to monitor aerial spore counts of the entomopathogenic fungus Pandora neoaphidis which may serve as a biological control agent for aphids. Automatic detection of such spores can therefore play a role in plant protection. The present approach for such detection is a modification of traditional manual microscopy of prepared slides, where autonomous image recording precedes computerised image analysis. The purpose of the present image analysis is to support human visual inspection of imagery data – not to replace it. The workflow has three components: • Preparation of slides for microscopy. • Image recording. • Computerised image processing where the initial part is, as usual, segmentation depending on the actual data product. Then comes identification of blobs, calculation of principal axes of blobs, symmetry operations and projection on a three parameter egg shape space.

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Abstract

Tick-borne diseases, such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis, are of major concern for Norwegian sheep farmers. Ticks can be controlled on and off the host, usually with the long-term, high-rotation use of chemicals. Fungal pathogens, predatory mites and ants are thought to be important tick killers in nature. However, the prevalence and diversity of predatory mites in tick habitats has barely been evaluated. It is known that most soil mite species of the cohort Gamasina (order Mesostigmata) are predators. Until now, 220 mesostigmatid species have been reported from Norway, most of them belonging to the Gamasina. One of the first recommended steps in a biological control program involves the determination of the fauna in the pest habitat. The objective of this study was to determine the groups of gamasines co-occurring with I. ricinus in sheep grazing areas in Isfjorden and Tingvoll in Western Norway. A total of 2,900 gamasines of 12 families was collected. The most numerous families were Parasitidae (46.9%) and Veigaiidae (25.7%), whereas the most diverse families were Laelapidae, Macrochelidae, Parasitidae and Zerconidae. Our results showed that the tick density was significantly related only to locality, elevation and rainfall. Differences in the prevailing environmental conditions resulted in more outstanding differences between Gamasina abundances than diversities. Based on our present knowledge of the potential of different gamasine groups as biological control agents, the results suggested that laelapid mites should be among the priority groups to be further evaluated for their role in the natural control of I. ricinus in Norway.

Abstract

The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, is a serious pest of numerous crops worldwide. Sustainable management solutions for T. urticae include predators and entomopathogens. Neozygites floridana is a naturally occurring obligate fungal pathogen of T. urticae and can cause declines in T. urticae populations. The purpose of this study was to determine whether releasing the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis into T. urticae populations has the potential to increase transmission of N. floridana and accelerate the development of an epizootic. This is the first study quantifying the effect of P. persimilis on transmission of N. floridana to T. urticae in a controlled microcosm study. Our results show that introducing P. persimilis into T. urticae, populations increased the proportion of T. urticae infected with N. floridana. By the final sampling occasion, the number of T. urticae in the treatment with both the predator and the pathogen had declined to zero in both experiments, while in the fungus-only treatment T. urticae populations still persisted. We suggest that releasing P. persimilis into crops in which N. floridana is naturally present has the potential to improve spider mite control more than through predation alone.

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Abstract

A controlled climatic chamber microcosm experiment was conducted to examine how light affects the hourly sporulation pattern of the beneficial mite pathogenic fungus Neozygites floridana during a 24 h cyclus over a period of eight consecutive days. This was done by inoculating two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) with N. floridana and placing them on strawberry plants for death and sporulation. Spore (primary conidia) discharge was observed by using a spore trap. Two light regimes were tested: Plant growth light of 150 μmol m−2 s−1 for 12 h supplied by high pressure sodium lamps (HPS), followed by either; (i) 4 h of 50 μmol m−2 s−1 light with similar HPS lamps followed by 8 h darkness (full HPS light + reduced HPS light + darkness) or (ii) 4 h of 50 μmol m−2 s−1 red light followed by 8 h darkness (full HPS light + red light + darkness). A clear difference in hourly primary conidia discharge pattern between the two different light treatments was seen and a significant interaction effect between light treatment and hour in day during the 24 h cycle was observed. The primary conidia discharge peak for treatment (ii) that included red light was mainly reached within the red light hours (19:00–23:00) and the dark hours (23:00–07:00). The primary conidia discharge peak for treatment (i) with HPS light only was mainly reached within the dark hours (23:00–07:00).

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Abstract

Introducing the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis into two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, populations significantly increased the proportion of T. urticae infected with the spider mite pathogen Neozygites floridana in one of two experiments. By the final sampling occasion, the number of T. urticae in the treatment with both the predator and the pathogen had declined to zero in both experiments, while in the fungus-only treatment T. urticae populations still persisted (20–40 T. urticae/subsample). Releasing P. persimilis into crops in which N. floridana is naturally present has the potential to improve spider mite control more than through predation alone.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of conventional versus organic common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) production on natural occurrence of Beauveria spp. as entophytes in bean plant tissue, from soil and as infections in stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), an important pest of bean in Cuba. Twenty-four organic and conventionally managed bean fields were sampled from September 2014 to April 2015 and Beauveria spp. were isolated and DNA extracted. PCR amplification of the intergenic Bloc region was performed for the identification of Beauveria species. Eighty-seven isolates were obtained from the soil samples by using the Galleria mellonella baiting technique. Further, 45 isolates were obtained from endophytic tissues of bean plant parts and 18 isolates were acquired from stink bugs. Only Beauveria bassiana was identified by DNA sequencing in this material. B. bassiana was more prevalent in soil, plant and stink bugs sampled from organic fields (41% soil, 22% plant, 9% bugs) compared to conventional fields (17% soil, 8% plant, 2% bugs). All plant parts were colonized by B. bassiana, but a significantly higher occurrence of this fungus was found in roots (9%) compared to stems (6%), leaves (4%) and pods (2%) in organic fields. In conventional fields there was a significantly higher occurrence of B. bassiana acquired from root (4%) and stem (3%) compared to leaves (1%) and pods (1%). Mating type PCR assays revealed that each of the isolates carried single mating types, with frequencies of 146/150 (MAT1) and 4/150 (MAT2), indicating limited potential for recombination. Our findings show that B. bassiana occur naturally as endophytes in bean fields in Cuba and contribute to a better ecological understanding of B. bassiana in agriculture.

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Abstract

Background. The beneficial fungus Neozygites floridana kills the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae, which is a serious polyphagous plant pest worldwide. Outbreaks of spider mites in strawberry and soybean have been associated with pesticide applications. Pesticides may affect N. floridana and consequently the natural control of T. urticae. N. floridana is a fungus difficult to grow in artificial media, and for this reason, very few studies have been conducted with this fungus, especially regarding the impact of pesticides. The aim of this study was to conduct a laboratory experiment to evaluate the effect of pesticides used in strawberry and soybean crops on N. floridana. Results. Among the pesticides used in strawberry, the fungicides sulfur and cyprodinil + fludioxonil completely inhibited both the sporulation and conidial germination of N. floridana. The fungicide fluazinam affected N. floridana drastically. The application of the fungicide tebuconazole and the insecticides fenpropathrin and abamectin resulted in a less pronounced negative effect on N. floridana. Except for epoxiconazole and cyproconazole, all tested fungicides used in soybean resulted in a complete inhibition of N. floridana. Among the three insecticides used in soybean, lambda-cyhalothrin and deltamethrin resulted in a significant inhibition of N. floridana. Conclusion. The insecticides/ acaricides abamectin and lambda-cyhalothrin at half concentrations and fenpropathrin and permethrin and the fungicide tebuconazole at the recommended concentrations resulted in the lowest impact on N. floridana. The fungicides with the active ingredients sulfur, cyprodinil + fludioxonil, azoxystrobin, azoxystrobin + cyproconazole, trifloxystrobin + tebuconazole and pyraclostrobin + epoxiconazole negatively affected N. floridana. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry

Abstract

The plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium langsethiae produces the highly potent mycotoxins HT-2 and T-2. Since these toxins are frequently detected at high levels in oat grain lots, they pose a considerable risk for food and feed safety in Norway, as well as in other north European countries. To reduce the risk of HT-2/T- 2-contaminated grain lots to enter the food and feed chain, it is important to identify factors that influence F. langsethiae infection and mycotoxin development in oats. However, the epidemiology of F. langsethiae is unclear. A three-year survey was performed to reveal more of the life cycle of F. langsethiae and its interactions with oats, other Fusarium species, as well as insects, mites and weeds. We searched for inoculum sources by quantifying the amount of F. langsethiae DNA in weeds, crop residues, and soil, sampled from a predetermined selection of oat-fields. To be able to define the onset of infection, we analysed the amount of F. langsethiae DNA in oat plant material sampled at selected growth stages (between booting and maturation), as well as the amount of F. langsethiae DNA and HT-2 and T-2 toxins in the mature grain. We also studied the presence of possible insect- and mite vectors sampled at the selected growth stages using Berlese funnel traps. All the different types of materials were also analysed for the presence F. graminearum DNA, the most important deoxynivalenol producer observed in Norwegian cereals, and which presence has shown a striking lack of correlation with the presence F. langsethiae in oat. Preliminary results show that F. langsethiae DNA may occur in the oat plant before heading and flowering. Some F. langsethiae DNA was observed in crop residues and weeds, though at relatively low levels. More results from this work will be presented at the meeting.

Abstract

The plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium langsethiae produces the highly potent mycotoxins HT-2 and T-2. Since these toxins are frequently detected at high levels in oat grain lots, they pose a considerable risk for food and feed safety in Norway, as well as in other north European countries. To reduce the risk of HT-2/T- 2-contaminated grain lots to enter the food and feed chain, it is important to identify factors that influence F. langsethiae infection and mycotoxin development in oats. However, the epidemiology of F. langsethiae is unclear. A three-year survey was performed to reveal more of the life cycle of F. langsethiae and its interactions with oats, other Fusarium species, as well as insects, mites and weeds. We searched for inoculum sources by quantifying the amount of F. langsethiae DNA in weeds, crop residues, and soil, sampled from a predetermined selection of oat-fields. To be able to define the onset of infection, we analysed the amount of F. langsethiae DNA in oat plant material sampled at selected growth stages (between booting and maturation), as well as the amount of F. langsethiae DNA and HT-2 and T-2 toxins in the mature grain. We also studied the presence of possible insect- and mite vectors sampled at the selected growth stages using Berlese funnel traps. All the different types of materials were also analysed for the presence F. graminearum DNA, the most important deoxynivalenol producer observed in Norwegian cereals, and which presence has shown a striking lack of correlation with the presence F. langsethiae in oat. Preliminary results show that F. langsethiae DNA may occur in the oat plant before heading and flowering. Some F. langsethiae DNA was observed in crop residues and weeds, though at relatively low levels. More results from this work will be presented at the meeting.

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Abstract

In this review, we provide an overview of the role of glucosinolates and other phytochemical compounds present in the Brassicaceae in relation to plant protection and human health. Current knowledge of the factors that influence phytochemical content and profile in the Brassicaceae is also summarized and multi-factorial approaches are briefly discussed. Variation in agronomic conditions (plant species, cultivar, developmental stage, plant organ, plant competition, fertilization, pH), season, climatic factors, water availability, light (intensity, quality, duration) and CO2 are known to significantly affect content and profile of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals such as the glucosinolates and leaf surface waxes play an important role in interactions with pests and pathogens. Factors that affect production of phytochemicals are important when designing plant protection strategies that exploit these compounds to minimize crop damage caused by plant pests and pathogens. Brassicaceous plants are consumed increasingly for possible health benefits, for example, glucosinolate-derived effects on degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, factors influencing phytochemical content and profile in the production of brassicaceous plants are worth considering both for plant and human health. Even though it is known that factors that influence phytochemical content and profile may interact, studies of plant compounds were, until recently, restricted by methods allowing only a reductionistic approach. It is now possible to design multi-factorial experiments that simulate their combined effects. This will provide important information to ecologists, plant breeders and agronomists.

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Abstract

In a series of tritrophic-level interaction experiments, the effect of selected host plants of the spider mites, Tetranychus evansi and Tetranychus urticae, on Neozygites floridana was studied by evaluating the attachment of capilliconidia, presence of hyphal bodies in the infected mites, mortality from fungal infection, mummification and sporulation from fungus-killed mite cadavers. Host plants tested for T. evansi were tomato, cherry tomato, eggplant, nightshade, and pepper while host plants tested for T. urticae were strawberry, jack bean, cotton and Gerbera. Oviposition rate of the mites on each plant was determined to infer host plant suitability while host-switching determined antibiosis effect on fungal activity. T. evansi had a high oviposition on eggplant, tomato and nightshade but not on cherry tomato and pepper. T. urticae on jack bean resulted in a higher oviposition than on strawberry, cotton and Gerbera. Attachment of capilliconidia to the T. evansi body, presence of hyphal bodies in infected T. evansi and mortality from fungal infection were significantly higher on pepper, nightshade and tomato. The highest level of T. evansi mummification was observed on tomato. T. evansi cadavers from tomato and eggplant produced more primary conidia than those from cherry tomato, nightshade and pepper. Switching N. floridana infected T. evansi from one of five Solanaceous host plants to tomato had no prominent effect on N. floridana performance. For T. urticae, strawberry and jack bean provided the best N. floridana performance when considering all measured parameters. Strawberry also had the highest primary conidia production. This study shows that performance of N. floridana can vary with host plants and may be an important factor for the development of N. floridana epizootics.

Abstract

In this study we aimed at understanding the mechanisms that affects an epidemic development of Neozygites floridana in a Tetranychus urticae population. This was done by comparing how many spores a cadaver infected with a N. floridana isolate could produce and at what distance and in which directions they could be thrown on a coverslip at temperatures relevant to the northern hemisphere (13, 18 and 23oC). The highest number of spores were produced at 13oC at a number of 1886. Numbers of spores thrown at 18oC and 23oC were 1733 and 1302 respectively. Temperature had a significant effect on sporulation. Most of the spores were thrown at a distance of 0-0.6 mm from the cadaver. Cadavers placed on the underside of a coverslip were able to throw spores back up on the coverslip surface. A whole plant bioassay was also conducted to reveal where on a plant T. urticae infected with N. floridana die and sporulate. Cadavers showed a different verical distribution on the cucumber plant compared to healthy spider mites. Most of the cadavers were located at the lower to the middle part of the plant, while healthy spider mites were more evenly distributed on the whole plant.

Abstract

The vine weevil, Othiorynchus sulcatus, is a serious pest in strawberries and biological control methods are needed to combat this pest. Formulations of the insect pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is registered for use against Otiorhynchus spp. in several countries but no fungal control agents are avilable for control of O. sulcatus in Norway. All developmental stages of Otiorhynchus spp. are susceptible to virulent insect pathogenic fungal species, but best control has been achieved against the larvae (Moorhouse et al. 1992). A number of studies have shown that M. anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana have good potential against Otiorhynchus spp. (Cross et al. 2001). In field grown strawberries, good control with Metarhizium has been reported when environmental conditions for the fungus are favourable (Oakley 1994). Temperatures in excess of 15oC are required for good control by most fungal isolates. Low temperature is therefore a major restricting factor for use of fungi outdoors (Gillespie et al. 1989, Soares et al. 1983). Isolates with low temperature optimums could therefore be well suited for field conditions in Northern Europe, where soil temperatures at the time when most larvae are found in the soil in autumn are 10-12oC. Norwegian M. anisopliae and B. bassiana isolates have shown promising results against O. sulcatus larvae at low temperatures in laboratory bioassays (Hjeljord & Klingen 2005). One of the Norwegian M. anisopliae isolates has also shown good competition with other soil fungi in laboratory experiments (Hjeljord & Meadow 2005). In addition to being cold tolerant, rhizosphere competence is important for fungal control agents that are used to control root feeding pests. "Rhizosphere competence" has been defined when considering biological control agents as "the ability of a microorganism, applied by seed treatment, to colonize the rhizosphere of developing roots" (Baker 1991). In this study we therefore aimed at testing the survival and rhizosphere competence of two different cold active Norwegian isolates (M. anisopliae isolate NCRI 250/02 and B. bassiana NCRI 12/96) in a semi field experiment in Norway. These were compared with the commercially avilable M. anisopliae isolate Ma43 originating from Austria (the isolate is also known to have many other names (Eilenberg 2008)). The study was conducted by estimating fungal concentrations in the bulk and rhizosphere soil surrounding the strawberry plant roots by counting colony forming unists (CFUs). The highest numbers of B. bassiana NCRI 12/96 CFUs were seen in the rhizosphere at 1.87x109 per liter soil 3 months after application. The highest numbers of M. anisopliae NCRI 250/02 CFUs were seen in the rhizosphere at 2.41x109 per liter soil 1 year after application. Numbers of CFUs for the M. ansiopliae Ma43 CFUs were generally lower than for the Norwegian isolates, but also for this isolate a higher fungal concentration was found in the rihzosphere soil than in the bulk soil.

Abstract

The vine weevil, Othiorynchus sulcatus, is a serious pest in strawberries in Norway and biological control methods are needed to combat this pest. In this study, the rhizosphere competence of two cold active Norwegian fungal isolates (Metarhizium anisopliae isolate NCRI 250/02 and Beauveria bassiana NCRI 12/96) and the well known Ma43 originating from Austria were tested. This was done by estimating fungal concentrations in the bulk and rhizosphere soil surrounding the strawberry plant roots by counting colony forming unists (CFUs). The highest numbers of B. bassiana NCRI 12/96 CFUs were seen in the rhizosphere at 1.87x109 per liter soil 3 months after application. The highest numbers of M. anisopliae NCRI 250/02 CFUs were seen in the rhizosphere at 2.41x109 per liter soil 1 year after application. Numbers of CFUs for the M. ansiopliae Ma43 CFUs were generally lower than for the Norwegian isolates, but also for this isolate a higher fungal concentration was found in the rihzosphere soil than in the bulk soil.

Abstract

Neozygites floridana is a fungus in the order Entomophthorales that infects and kills the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae. The fungus is therefore of interest in the biological control of T. urticae. To obtain information that might help in the use of this fungus under practical conditions in strawberries and cucumbers we have tried to answer the following questions in a series of studies: 1) When, and at what infection levels does N. floridana occur in T. urticae populations in field grown strawberries in Norway? 2) How does N. floridana survive harsh climatic conditions (i.e winter) in Norway? 3) Where do N. floridana infected T. urticae move and sporulate on a plant? 4) How can N. floridana be inoculated in augmentative microbial control of T. urticae? Results show that the N. floridana infection level varies considerably throughout a season. T. urticae killed by N. floridana was found to sporulate surprisingly early in the season (first observation March 18) and infection early in the season is important for a good control of T. urticae. N. floridana was observed to over-winter as hyphal bodies in hibernating T. urticae females throughout the winter. Cadavers with resting spores were found from October to the end of January only. Cadavers then probably disintegrated, and resting spores were left on leaves, soil, etc. In a bioassay where a Norwegian N. floridana isolate was tested for numbers and distance of spores thrown at three different temperatures relevant to Norwegian conditions (13o, 18o, 23o C), results show that the highest numbers of spores (1886 and 1733 per cadaver) were thrown at 13o and 18o compared to 23o C (1302 per cadaver). Spores were thrown at the same distance (up to about 6 mm) at all three temperatures. These results show that the fungus may be a promising agent at temperatures relevant for strawberry production in countries located in Northern areas. Our attempt to inoculate N. floridana artificially in a strawberry field and also in greenhouse cucumbers has not been successful yet, but we are working to improve the methods in a new project titled "BERRYSYS -A system approach to biocontrol in organic and integrated strawberry production".

Abstract

Neozygites floridana is a fungus in the order Entomophthorales that is a natural enemy of several spider mite species including the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae. When conditions are right, this fungus may cause epizootics in spider mite populations and kill high numbers of mites. The fungus is therefore promising for biological control of T. urticae in strawberry and can be used in combination with other pest management strategies. Our previous studies have shown that N. floridana is compatible with other biocontrol methods such as predatory mites. Phytoseiulus longipes fed on fungus-infected T. urticae laid equal number of eggs to those fed on healthy prey. This indicates that the fungus does not affect this predatory mite negatively. In a choice experiment (hosts with and without N. floridana), P. longipes fed indiscriminately irrespective of the presence of the fungus. The compatibility of biological control methods with pesticides is of great importance for an integrated pest management system to work well. Some acaricides and fungicides have the potential to affect both beneficial fungi and predatory mites and careful selection of pesticides that are not harmful to these beneficial organisms can promote their biocontrol potential. Our studies have shown that the fungicides captan, mancozeb, tolylfluanid, fenhexamid, cyprodinil + fludioxonil affect N. floridana in a way that may be detrimental to the biocontrol potential of this beneficial fungus in the field. Use of resistant varieties is also important in integrated pest management because pests are known to be more vulnerable to pathogens if they feed on poor or resistant plants and our studies on effects of host plants of spider mites confirms this.

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Abstract

Three unsprayed coffee farms (farm 1, 2 and 3) were studied for the natural occurrence of the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana in Hypothenemus hampei populations throughout the rainy season of 2004 (July-November) and 2005 (July-December). B. bassiana infections were found during most sampling dates in both years, on all three farms. The B. bassiana infection levels were higher in 2005 than in 2004 with mean prevalence of 12.1 % and 2.7%, respectively. No consistent significant differences in infection level between farms were found in any of the years. B. bassiana infection levels fluctuated widely throughout the season, and peaked at 13.5% on farm 3 in 2004 and at 44.0% on farm 1 in 2005. The H. hampei population was significantly higher in 2004 than in 2005, with 6.9% of the berries infested in 2004 and only 0.7% in 2005. In both years, the H. hampei infestation level was significantly higher on farm 2. No consistent significant differences in H. hampei infestation levels were found between sampling dates on any of the farms. H. hampei infestation levels fluctuated throughout both seasons, and peaked at 15.3% on farm 2 in 2004 and 2.2% on farm 2 in 2005. No consistent density dependent correlation between H. hampei infestation level and B. bassiana infection level was found. Correlations between climatic conditions and R bassiana or H. hampei were not found. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Abstract

To evaluate overwintering strategies of the fungus Neozygites floridana, an important natural enemy of Tetranychus urticae, hibernating T. urticae females were investigated for the presence of fungal structures throughout one winter (October 12, 2006 to February 19, 2007) in field-grown strawberries in a cold climate in Norway ( min. ambient temp -15.3 degrees C). Neozygites floridana was present as hyphal bodies inside live, hibernating females in T. urticae populations throughout the sampling period. The lowest percentages of hibernating females with hyphal bodies were found at the two first dates of sampling at 5.5 and 0% on October 12 and 19, respectively. The prevalence then increased and peaked at 54.4% on January 14. Resting spores (immature) were also found in live hibernating females at some dates, but at lower prevalence than for hyphal bodies and predominantly only until November 8. Prevalence of resting spores in live hibernating females ranged from 2.5 to 13.8%. Total number of T. urticae was also recorded, and most mites of all four categories (nymphs, males, non-hibernating and hibernating females) were found at the first sampling date. At this date non-hibernating females were the most abundant. A sharp decrease in non-hibernating females, nymphs and males was, however, seen from mid-October to mid-November; also numbers of hibernating females decreased, but not as fast. The relative abundance of hibernating females compared to non-hibernating females increased from 32.2% at the first collection (October 12) to 97.7% at the last collection (February 2). This study confirms that N.floridana survives the winter as a semi-latent hyphal body infection, protected inside live hibernating females. It is therefore ready to develop and sporulate as soon as climatic conditions permit, resulting in early season infection of T. urticae.

Abstract

In a pilot field study conducted in an apple orchard in Hardanger (Western Norway) in two succesive years both Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae were applied to apple trees just after hatching of mirid nymphs in spring. Both predatory, omnivorous and principally plant-pathogenic species of mirids were collected, and all groups of species were infected by B. bassiana or M. ansiopliae in treated plots. B. bassiana and M. anisopliae were also found on some individuals in non treated control plots the second year. M. anisopliae was more predominant in 2006, B. bassiana in 2007. Mirids were also observed for natural occurrence of parasitoids, and parasitoids were found both years.

Abstract

In the present study the predation rate of Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) on eggs and larvae of the lepidopterous species Mamestra brassicae (L.) was investigated including the prey"s influence on survival and development. The experiments were done at 20 +/- 1 degrees C and L:D = 16:8. C. carnea larvae were fed on eggs and first instar larvae of M. brassicae, respectively. In both cases the daily predation rate of C. carnea increased slowly during the two first instars and reached a peak in the third larval instar. During the third instar 87% and 85% of the total numbers of M. brassicae eggs and larvae, respectively, were consumed. C. carnea preyed on a mean total of 312 M. brassicae eggs and 232 M. brassicae larvae during its larval development. The mean daily predation rate of C. carnea reached a maximum of 106.6 eggs of M. brassicae and 46.1 larvae of M. brassicae. C. carnea consumed a total of 32 mg of M. brassicae eggs and 70 mg of M. brassicae larvae during its larval development. The developmental time of C. carnea fed on M. brassicae eggs and larvae was 27.4 and 21.5 days, respectively. Almost 10% of C. carnea died when reared on M. brassicae eggs and 15% died when reared on M. brassicae larvae. The quality aspect of the prey is discussed.