Submitted to: Crop Protection (Special Issue)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 25, 2001
Publication Date: November 1, 2001
Citation: FARIA, M., WRAIGHT, S.P. BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF BEMISIA WITH FUNGI. CROP PROTECTION (SPECIAL ISSUE). 2001. v. 20. p. 767-778.
Whiteflies feed by piercing plants and sucking sap, and are therefore not susceptible to pathogens such as bacteria and viruses that must be ingested to establish infection. Insect pathogenic fungi, however, which invade via direct penetration, are important natural enemies of whiteflies and have been the subjects of considerable research and development for biological control. Most important among these are various strains of well-known pathogens in the genera Paecilomyces, Beauveria, Verticillium, Metarhizium, and Aschersonia. Recent advances in production, formulation, and application of these pathogens have resulted in improvements in long-standing whitefly mycoinsecticide products based on Verticillium lecanii, and development and registration of several new products based on Paecilomyces fumosoroseus and Beauveria bassiana. These products have the capacity to suppress and, in some instances, provide good control of whiteflies in both greenhouse and field crops. However, commercial market have been unstable and slow to develop in the face of strong competition from less costly, highly efficacious chemical insecticides. Notwithstanding these difficulties, continuing problems with insecticide resistance and environmental and food contamination support continued development of fungi as relevant tools in the whitefly biological control arsenal.