Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 11, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The autodissemination of entomopathogens consists of using insects to vector microbial control agents to other insects as a mechanism for pest management. Several examples of this concept have been reported, mostly for viruses and fungi. Most autodissemination approaches use devices to which the insects are attracted (e.g., using pheromones and/or other semiochemicals) and in which a formulation containing the entomopathogen is placed in such a way that the insect comes in contact with the agent. These devices, which allow insects to exit and carry the agent to other insects, have been used to spread entomopathogenic viruses by bees and moths, the fungal entomopathogens Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassiana, and Zoophthora radicans by different insects, as well as protozoans by dermestids. Autodissemination can also be one of the natural mechanisms of pathogen dispersal. For example, the non-occluded baculovirus of the rhinoceros beetle is transmitted when insects come in contact, while mating or feeding in palm trees, with material excreted by contaminated insects. Similarly, insects can spread viruses (via feces) after feeding on infected hosts, as has been reported for nabids feeding on nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV)-infected larvae of the velvetbean caterpillar and the southern corn rootworm feeding on cadavers of H. zea infected with a NPV.