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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF GRASSHOPPERS AND OTHER INSECT PESTS IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS

Location: Pest Management Research Unit

Title: Challenges in Using Metarhizium anisopliae for Biocontrol of Sugarbeet Root Maggot, Tetanops myopaeformis

Authors
item JARONSKI, STEFAN
item Fuller Schaefer, Cynthia
item Jung, Kerstin - FED BIO RES CONTROL/IBC
item Majumdar, Ayanava - NDSU-FARGO
item Boetel, Mark - NDSU-FARGO

Submitted to: IOBC/WPRS Bulletin (Abstract for Conference Proceedings)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2007
Publication Date: July 31, 2007
Citation: Jaronski, S.T., Fuller Schaefer, C., Jung, K., Majumdar, A., Boetel, M. 2007. Challenges in Using Metarhizium anisopliae for Biocontrol of Sugarbeet Root Maggot, Tetanops myopaeformis. IOBC/WPRS Bulletin. p. 119-124.

Interpretive Summary: USDA and university scientists are research the utility of Metarhizium anisopliae as a microbial pest control agent of the Sugarbeet Root Maggot, the most serious sugar beet pest in the United States. The fungus can be deployed by several means to create a “minefield” of infectious spores in the habitat of young larvae migrating to the developing root. This paper presents a review of recent findings regarding a number of factors that potentially or realistically affect the fungus’ efficacy, including aspects of the soil ecology of Metarhizium.

Technical Abstract: Metarhizium anisopliae is under development as a microbial pest control agent of the Ulidiid fly, Tetanops myopaeformis (Sugarbeet Root Maggot), the most serious sugar beet pest in the United States. The fungus can be deployed by several means to create a “minefield” of infectious spores in the habitat of young larvae migrating to the developing root: (1) placing conidia on/in the seed coat to allow the fungus to colonize the rhizosphere; (2) applying Metarhizium granules around the seed at planting, much like insecticide granules; or (3) applying an aqueous spray of spores at or before peak fly oviposition to a narrow band of soil at the base of plants, allowing spores to soak into the top 1 cm of soil, where eggs are laid. A number of constraints could affect successful control by limiting Metarhizium survival before spores can contact larvae and influence conidial acquisition. We have examined several factors affecting Metarhizium performance: conidial and fungal granule concentrations in the soil; soil type (texture), moisture, and temperature influences on efficacy and persistence; the extent of rhizoplane/rhizosphere colonization; the effect of common planting-time fungicides; and interactions with a sample of rhizosphere-associated bacteria. The value of planting- time granule and preovipositional conidial sprays in high and low insect pressure situations was also determined in replicated field trials.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014