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Title: Fungal entomopathogens with activity against plant pathogens: ecology and evolution

item Vega, Fernando

Submitted to: Biocontrol
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2009
Publication Date: 2/15/2010
Citation: Ownley, B., Gwinn, K.D., Vega, F.E. 2010. Fungal entomopathogens with activity against plant pathogens: ecology and evolution. Biocontrol. 55:113-128.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Dual biological control, of both insect pests and plant pathogens, has been reported for the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Lecanicillium spp. However, the primary mechanisms of plant disease suppression are different for these fungi. Beauveria produces an array of bioactive metabolites, and has been reported to limit growth of fungal plant pathogens in vitro. In plant assays, B. bassiana has been reported to reduce diseases caused by soilborne plant pathogens, such as Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium. Evidence has accumulated that Beauveria can endophytically colonize a wide array of monocot and dicotyledonous plant species. In relation to suppression of plant disease by B. bassiana, there is evidence that systemic resistance was induced when endophytically colonized cotton seedlings were challenged with a bacterial plant pathogen on foliage. Species of Lecanicillium are known to reduce disease caused by the powdery mildew foliar pathogen, Sphaerotheca fuliginea. Endophytic colonization has been reported for Lecanicillium, and it has been suggested that induced systemic resistance may be active. However, mycoparasitism is the primary mechanism employed by Lecanicillium against powdery mildew. Comparisons of Beauveria and Lecanicillium are made with Trichoderma. For T. harzianum, it has been shown that some fungal traits that are important for insect pathogenicity are also involved in biocontrol of phytopathogens.