Submitted to: Entomology International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Use of pathogenic fungi for biological control of insect pests infesting field crops has been pursued for more than a century, with only limited commercial success. Important recent advances, however, have led to a steadily increasing interest in product development, and since the beginning of this decade, a number of hyphomycete-based mycoinsecticide products have been patented and/or registered worldwide for use against a variety of insect pests. The long-term commercial potential of these new fungal products is being carefully evaluated by an agricultural community seeking softer alternatives to broad spectrum synthetic chemical insecticides. In this presentation, we discuss promising new fungus production and formulation technologies and application methods and strategies that are translating into greater and more consistent efficacy under field conditions. Beauveria bassiana, one of the most ubiquitous and dextensively studied of the entomopathogenic fungal species, is the active agent in many of the products currently under development. The present status of development of this fungus for control of Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) and Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is reviewed to illustrate current progress and prospects for successful incorporation of fungal agents into diverse integrated pest management systems.