1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Identify new, better entomopathogenic fungi (Metarhizium, Beauveria spp.) that are pathogenic to grasshoppers and Mormon crickets.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Utah State has isolated well over 400 isolates of the two fungi, with funding from USDA APHIS, in the search of a good mycoinsecticide for Mormon crickets. These isolates will serve as the basis for ARS identifying a candidate(s) for grasshopper management in parallel to Utah State’s objectives. Utah State will provide as many as 400 isolates, based on selection by both ARS and Utah State. ARS will evaluate these isolates using multiple criteria, including pathogenicity towards grasshoppers, mass production potential, thermotolerance, and selective nontarget insect studies.
Of the 150 Metarhizium isolates accessed by Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory from Utah State collection in 2011, only 105 isolates had satisfactory spore production to be considered further. These had their thermal profiles (growth at constant temperatures and response to transient heat) determined. Only 6 had satisfactory profiles. Bioassays of these isolates completed. Field trials of 4 Utah State isolates against grasshoppers conducted (2nd year for two isolates, 1st year for another two).