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.
ARS completed thermal and production screening of 150 Utah State Metarhizium isolates and bioassays of some of the emergent best candidates. Eight isolates, chosen on basis of UV- and heat-tolerance were field tested in July-August to evaluate relevancy of USU testing approaches; results are not available at this time. Partner was updated on results by bimonthly telephone or emails.