Submitted to: International Coloquim on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2002
Publication Date: August 15, 2002
Citation: HUMBER, R.A., TIGANO, M.S. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE DISCOVERY, ISOLATION, PRESERVATION, AND EXPLOITATION OF ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGAL GERMPLASM. INTERNATIONAL COLOQUIM ON INVERTEBRATE PATHOLOGY AND MICROBIAL CONTROL. 2002.
Fungal cultures collection are more than mere repositories for live samples of these organisms. They are vital partners for all types of research into the biology and uses of these organisms for all aspects of biological control, taxonomic and systematics, and bioprospecting for gene products or metabolites. Entomopathogens can be found in most major fungal groups but the majority of them are clustered in closely related clusters of taxa, especially in the sexual and conidial states in Clavicipitaceae (Pyrenomycetes) and Entomophthorales (Zygomycetes); the most current taxonomy for a very significant percentage of these fungi needs revision according to current systematics standards (using both classical and molecular tools). Many parts of the world remain under- or unexplored for their flora of entomopathogenic fungi; many of those regions that are least well known are those tropical areas in which the loss of habitat (and of insect biodiversity) is an acute issue. Many temperate regions (including North America) are also poorly explored for their fungal entomopathogens. Many insect fungi are easily grown and maintained in culture; others, especially those most fastidiously adjusted to their hosts, can be extremely hard to grow in vitro and may also require individualized methods for preservation. Dissemination of data about entomopathogenic fungi in culture collections needs to be improved by means of better formats for presenting data via the Internet, although the international dissemination of cultures is becoming increasingly difficult due to ramifications of the International Convention on Biological Diversity and individual countries' responses to this treaty.