Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: A dye that is harmless to humans and other animals is being developed to control insects on crops. However, it is not known if this dye will interfere with growth of fungi being applied as biocontrol agents, or other beneficial microbes in the ecological community. These studies demonstrate that the responses of the fungi to the dye, either in its native form or after it is activated by light, are variable and depend on the species of fungus being tested. The growth temperature is also an important factor, and testing must be done to discover potential interactions prior to application. This information is important to other scientists, to manufacturers and regulators, and to the end user of the dye.
Technical Abstract: The incorporation of the photoactive red food dye, phloxine B, into integrated pest management strategies has been suggested for control of corn root worm. Inclusion of a chemical pest control agent may interfere with a microbial pest control agent, thus representative fungi with potential for biocontrol were tested for their responses to phloxine B at different temperatures. For fungi that were affected by the dye, inhibition of growth rate was enhanced by light at temperature permitting a faster rate of growth. Considerable variation was seen among the fungi with regard to response, including one fungus that was inhibited only by the photoactivated species, and another did not respond to the dye even in its photoactivated state.