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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Scarab Pathogens

Author
item Klein, Michael

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 15, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Scarab larvae are impacted by many microbial agents, but few organisms are commercially available. Although virus diseases are used for Oryctes beetles in Asia, only an iridescent virus has been noted in North America. Its low pathogenicity and lack of production methods, precludes its use for microbial control. Similar problems and its human pathogenicity, prevent the use of Rickettsia popilliae which causes blue disease. Bacteria are the most successful microbial products. New Zealand has a commercial product, based on Serratia entomophila, used for control of the grass grub. Bacillis thuringiensis(Bt), the most successful insect pathogen and Bt buibui was recently isolated in Japan and is highly virulent for many scarabs. The milky disease bacterium Paenibacillus (=Bacillus) popilliae is the most common bacterium associated with scarabs. Although commercial products have been available for over 60 years, the true value of P. popilliae is still up for debate. Several fungi, Enteroderma, Metarhizium and Beauveria spp. are often found infecting scarab larvae. However, commercial fungal products are unavailable. Protozoans, which are found in scarabs do not cause direct infection and there are no production methods for these organisms. Nematodes in the genera Heterorhabditis and Steinernema have been found throughout the world and some species are available for scarab control. In the future, less reliance on conventional chemical pesticides may lead to a greater role for scarab pathogens.

Last Modified: 11/20/2014
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