Submitted to: Revista Latino Americana de Microbiologa
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2002
Publication Date: April 1, 2002
Citation: VANDENBERG, J.D. FUNGI AS TOOLS FOR INSECT PEST MANAGEMENT. REVISTA LATINO AMERICANA DE MICROBIOLOGA. 2002. v. 44. p. 74.
Control of pest insects of agricultural crops is hampered by the lack of safe, biological alternatives to chemical insecticides. The goals of current research programs include increasing fundamental knowledge of insect-pathogenic fungi and then using that knowledge to develop these pathogens as biological control agents for pest insects. My ARS research program incorporates basic studies of the mechanisms by which fungi can infect their hosts as well as applied field research to test fungi as components in integrated pest management systems. I will present a framework for the development of microbial control agents and then review research in relation to it. I will highlight examples of laboratory research on fungal infection mechanisms and then present, in more detail, results of field trials using fungi to control some key insect pests. I will conclude with a discussion of the challenges and opportunities for successful use of microbial control agents as tools for insect pest management.