Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Microbial agents (i.e., viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa) have demonstrated considerable potential for the efficacious management of insect pests. Many entomopathogens are applied in oil-based formulations, and much of the research effort to date has focused on the mechanistic attributes of oil formulations (e.g., spray equipment, droplet size, droplet deposition, etc.). However, the application of entomopathogens in field environments has often provided inadequate suppression of pest populations. Relatively limited work has focused on the elucidation of constraints on entomopathogens in field environments, and on the development and implementation of biological-based strategies to overcome these constraints. We discuss how oil formulations may be used in this context. For example, oil-formulations have been reported to increase the adhesion of propagules to the insect integument, enhance spreading of inoculum over the insects body, enhance penetration of the insect cuticle, protect propagules from ultraviolet radiation, and enhance infection under conditions of low humidity. If entomopathogenic microorganisms are going to provide an efficacious alternative to chemical insecticides for managing insect pests, the utilization of oil-based formulations within a biologically-based framework is necessary and this is a major challenge facing researchers.