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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #180427


item Posada-Florez, Francisco
item Vega, Fernando

Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2005
Publication Date: 4/15/2006
Citation: Posada, F.J., Vega, F.E. 2006. Inoculation of cocoa seedlings (theobroma cacao) with the fungal entomopathogen beauveria bassiana (ascomycota: hypocreales) and its establishment as an endophyte. Mycologia. 97:208-213.

Interpretive Summary: The cocoa pod borer is an insect that can cause major yield losses to cocoa growers in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. One way to control this insect is to infect it with an organism that will kill the insect but that won't damage the cocoa pod. The fungus Beauveria bassiana is an organism that has that potential. We have developed a method to establish Beauveria bassiana in cocoa seedlings as part of our research aimed at developing an environmentally-friendly and sustainable pest control method against the cocoa pod borer. By living harmlessly inside the cocoa plant, Beauveria bassiana has the potential to infect and kill the cocoa pod borer before it can damage the cocoa pods. This information will be of use to cocoa growers, action agency personnel, other scientists studying this insect, and to pest control managers.

Technical Abstract: The fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana became established as an endophyte in in vitro grown cocoa seedlings tested for up to two months post-inoculation with B. bassiana suspensions to the radicle. The fungus was recovered in culture from stems, leaves and roots. B. bassiana was also detected as an epiphyte one and two months post-inoculation. Penicillium oxalicum and five bacterial morpho species were also detected, indicating these were present as endophytes in the seed.