Submitted to: Florida Scientist
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2010
Publication Date: 3/19/2010
Citation: Avery, P.B., Wekesa, V.W., Hunter, W.B., Hall, D.G., McKenzie, C.L., Osborne, L.S., Powell, C.A., Rogers, M.E. 2010. Antifeedant and lethal effects of the fungi Isaria fumosorosea on the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri [abstract]. Florida Scientist. 73(1)2. AGR-01. Online: www.barry.edu/fas/. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: An insect-infecting fungal pathogen increases mortality of Asian citrus psyllids (Diaphorina citri,Hemiptera:Psyllidae). The entomopathogenic fungi(Isaria fumosorosea [Ifr])sold as the product PFR 97™ was shown to be effective at killing and reducing feeding of the Asian citrus psyllid. The psyllid spreads a devastating bacterial disease to citrus trees and is threatening citrus production throughout the United States. The effects of two formulations of Ifr (blastospores and conidia) on feeding, honeydew deposits, and mortality of adult psyllids was assessed in bioassays. Psyllids infected by either formulation had reduced feeding as indicated by significantly fewer honeydew deposits [at 8 to 9 times less after 5 and 7 days, respectively] with mortality reaching 100% in fungal treatments compared to 0% in the controls after 7 days. This study provides further evidence that Ifr (known as Pfr97™) can be highly effective against these psyllids causing up to 100 percent mortality within 7 days. Blastospores caused a significantly higher mortality than conidia in the first 3 days. The use of this fungus, which is specific to insects, is advantageous because, apart from reducing feeding by psyllids, those that are infected by the fungus may not be able to spread the disease, while at the same time, infected-psyllids may help spread fungus throughout the citrus groves, thus killing even more psyllids. The potential of auto dissemination of Pfr 97 by psyllids in the field provides a unique approach to biological control application which is highly specific, economically feasible, and environmentally friendly.