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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #411608

Research Project: Novel Approaches for Managing Key Pests of Peach and Pecan

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: Horizontal Transmission of Entomopathogenic Fungi in Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) in Date Palm

item ALWANEEN, W.S. - King Abdulaziz City For Science And Technology
item WAKIL, W. - University Of Agriculture, Faisalabad
item TAHIR, M. - National Agricultural Research Center - Pakistan
item QAYYUM, A. - University Of Agriculture - Pakistan
item RASOOL, K.G. - King Saud University
item HUSAIN, M. - King Saud University
item ALDAWOOD, A.S. - King Saud University
item Shapiro Ilan, David

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/11/2024
Publication Date: 3/21/2024
Citation: Alwaneen, W., Wakil, W., Tahir, M., Qayyum, A., Rasool, K., Husain, M., Aldawood, A., Shapiro Ilan, D.I. 2024. Horizontal Transmission of Entomopathogenic Fungi in Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) in Date Palm. Agronomy Journal. 14/642.

Interpretive Summary: The red palm weevil is a major pest of date palm in regions where this crop is grown. The insect pest is difficult and costly to control.. Thus, alternative methods to control red palm weevil are needed. Certain insect-killing fungi have been developed into commercially available bio-insecticides. These bio-insecticides are safe to humans and the environment. In the present study, the ability of insect-killing fungi such as the white muscardine fungus and green muscardine fungus to control red palm weevil was tested. The fungi were found to kill the pest readily. Moreover, transfer of the fungus from one infected to another (called "horizontal transmission) was also observed. Therefore, the insect-killing fungi are promising alternatives for control of red palm weevil.

Technical Abstract: During this study, we tested pathogenicity of fifteen different entomopathogenic fungi isolates that belongs to Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria brongniartii and Purpureocillium lilacinum and all isolates were found virulent against larvae (14.9-81.5%) and adults (5.6-51.7%) mortality of red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) at twelve of post treatment. From screening bioassay, five potential isolates (WG-08, WG-09, WG-23, WG-24 and WG-25) were tested for their dose response mortality against larvae and adult after 7, 14 and 21days of treatment. Mortality was found positively correlation with concentration and time. At 21 days of treatment, WG-23 and WG-25 resulted in 100% mortality against larvae while only WG-25 gave 100% mortality against adult. Along with mortality, all the potential isolates have strong ovicidal effect that reduced 81.49% hatching at 1×108 conidia ml-1. The horizontal transmission bioassay indicated that the infected adults were found to transmit the disease to healthy individuals. Horizontal transmission of fungi from infected to normal adult not only caused significant mortality but also posed serious sub lethal impact on the development including reduced number of eggs/day, fecundity, egg viability and neonates survival. Again WG-25 reduced the oviposition (0.5 eggs/day), fecundity (11.7 eggs/female), egg viability only (11.6%) along with larval survival just 25.9% when infected male mated with normal female. In semi field trials, the fungal isolates reduced larval survival found inside the palms that ultimately reduced infestation and also found persistent in palms over the period of two months. The results of this study clearly indicate that entomopathogenic fungi are promising candidates for the sustainable and successfully control of red palm weevil in date palm production systems.