Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2007
Publication Date: 7/1/2008
Citation: Vega, F.E., Posada, F.J., Aime, M.C., Pava-Ripoll, M., Infante, F., Rehner, S.A. 2008. Entomopathogenic fungal endophytes. Biological Control. 46:72-82.
Interpretive Summary: The coffee berry borer is the most devastating pest of coffee throughout the world. Eggs are deposited inside coffee berries, and insects feed on the coffee seed, severely reducing yields. One novel mechanism to manage this insect involves studies aimed at inoculating coffee plants with the fungal insect pathogen Beauveria bassiana. As part of this research, we have found several fungal insect pathogens naturally occurring inside coffee plants. Two of these insect pathogenic fungi were tested in the laboratory and were shown to kill the coffee berry borer. These new isolates might have potential in biocontrol programs not only against the coffee berry borer, but also against other insect pests of agronomic importance. This finding will be of use to coffee scientists, mycologists, entomologists, and the coffee industry.
Technical Abstract: Various genera of fungal entomopathogens, including Acremonium, Beauveria, Cladosporium, Clonostachys, and Paecilomyces were isolated as endophytes from various coffee tissues in Hawaii, Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Two of these, B. bassiana and Clonostachys rosea, were tested against the coffee berry borer and were shown to be pathogenic. The possible mode of action of entomopathogenic endophytes is discussed.