Zoophthora radicans (entomophthorales), a fungal pathogen of bagrada hilaris and bactericera cockerelli (hemiptera: pentatomidae and triozidae): prevalence, pathogenicity, and interplay of environmental influence, morphology, and sequence data on fungal identification
Sánchez Peña, Sergio René
PublisherUniversidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-placeSaltillo, Coahuila, México
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"The exotic bagrada bug or painted bug, Bagrada hilaris, and the native potato/tomato psyllid, Bactericera (=Paratrioza) cockerelli, are key pests of horticulture in western North America. In 2014-2015, adult and juvenile B. hilaris and B. cockerelli killed by fungi in the genus Zoophthora were detected near Saltillo, northeastern Mexico. We report the field prevalence and observations of Zoophthora on these hosts. The morphology and growth characteristics of field-collected specimens and pure in vitro cultures, as well as molecular markers (ITS1 and ITS4) were analyzed to identify these Zoophthora populations. Although there were morphological spore differences detected among field collections from both insect hosts, the fungi causing these mycoses can be identified as the same species (Zoophthora radicans), according to morphometric data from in vitro cultures (where differences observed in field material were attenuated) and sequence data (96-99% identity for ITS1 and 4). These results underscore the plasticity of field collections and in vitro cultures, and the relevance of comprehensive morphological and molecular analysis from cultures under standard conditions. Dose-response bioassays were conducted with one Z. radicans strain against bagrada bug nymphs. Exposure to conidial showers from cultures induced 30-90% mortality. This is the first report of a natural enemy of bagrada bug in Mexico, and the first published report of entomophthoralean fungi naturally attacking bagrada bugs and potato psyllids. Z. radicans should be further investigated as a tool in the biological control of hemipterans."