Submitted to: Mycological Society of America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/27/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The coffee berry borer Hypothenemus hampei (CBB) causes great damage to coffee crops around the world. Borer eggs are laid in developing coffee berries, and the larvae feed on tissue of the berry. It has been hypothesized that fungal growth in insect galleries provides exogenous sterols needed for the development of the insect, that the galleries provide a sheltered habitat for the fungus, and that a mutualism exists between fungus and beetle. We isolated fungi from the cuticle of the adult CBBs and examined the galleries of infested coffee berries using SEM. We isolated a number of Penicillia identifiable as P. olsonii, P. crustosum, and P. citrinum. We also found a homogeneous group of isolates that are phenotypically distinct from known Penicillium species. Large differences between the ITS and partial 28S rDNA sequences of the CBB associated group and sequences from cultures of ex type Penicillium species suggest that these isolates represent a new species. SEM photographs of the CBB galleries reveal plentiful growth of a monoverticillate Penicillium species whose phenotype matches that of the new species, and SEM photographs of adult CBB cuticle reveal the presence of conidia indistinguishable from those of the new species.