FUNGAL RESOURCES FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AND HIGH-VALUE USES
Location: Biological Integrated Pest Management Unit
Title: Occurrence of Metarhizium spp in central Brazilian soils
Submitted to: Journal of Basic Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 23, 2011
Publication Date: January 26, 2012
Citation: Rocha,, L., Inglis,, P., Humber, R.A., Kipnis,, A., Luz,, C. 2012. Occurrence of Metarhizium spp in central Brazilian soils. Journal of Basic Microbiology. DOI: 10.1002/jobm.201100482.
Interpretive Summary: This study examined a large number of isolates of the extremely important fungal genus Metarhizium isolated from soils in the Cerrado region of central Brazil. Metarhizium species are among the most important fungi worldwide for the control of insect pests affecting innumerable crops as well as disease-vectoring insects of medical and veterinary significance. These are the first gene-sequence-based studies on the identifications of South American isolates of Metarhizium, which recently underwent a major gene-based taxonomic revision. It was not altogether surprising that some of the newly recognized species are found from Brazil for the first time, but the majority of isolates studied here were unusual in being genetically close to the most common species of the genus, but were sufficiently different that no definitive identification of these fungi as M. anisopliae in the strict sense or as a new taxon closely related to M. anisopliae, can yet be made. These studies represent a major extension of knowledge about the biogeography and taxonomic diversity of Metarhizium for the South American continent.
The biodiversity of entomopathogenic fungi in tropical ecosystems is still little investigated, and the objective of this study was to isolate and identify fungi of the entomopathogenic genus Metarhizium (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) present in undisturbed soils of Central Brazilian Cerrado. A total of 106 Metarhizium isolates were obtained from soils collected from Cerrado sites in the state of Goiás. Of the 106 Metarhizium isolates; gene sequences from 63 of these were obtained and compared. Among these, one was confirmed to be M. anisopliae sensu stricto; 53 were very closely allied to M. anisopliae but require more extensive genetic characterization to determine if might represent a new taxon in the M. anisopliae species complex. Eight of these Cerrado isolates were referable to M. robertsii, and the remaining isolate is the first South American (and Southern Hemisphere) collection of M. flavoviride var. pemphigi. These findings underline the need for better characterization of the diversity of these widely distributed fungi in Brazil.