First record of Fusarium verticillioides as an entomopathogenic fungus of grasshoppers

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Fusarium verticillioides(Saccardo) Nirenberg (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) is the most common fungus reported on infected corn kernels and vegetative tissues, but has not yet been documented as being entomopathogenic for grasshoppers. Grasshoppers and locusts represent a large group of insects that cause economic damage to forage and crops.Tropidacris collaris(Stoll) (Orthoptera: Acridoidea: Romaleidae) is a large and voracious grasshopper that in recent years has become an increasingly recurrent and widespread pest in progressively more greatly extended areas of some of in Argentina’s northern provinces, with chemical insecticides being currently the only means of control. During February and March of 2008-09, nymphs and adults ofT. collariswere collected with sweep nets in dense woodland vegetation at a site near Tres Estacas in western Chaco Province, Argentina, and kept in screened cages.F. verticillioideswas isolated from insects that died within 10 days and was cultured in PGA medium. Pathogenicity tests were conducted and positive results recorded. Using traditional and molecular-biological methods, an isolate ofF. verticillioideswas obtained fromT. collaris, and its pathogenecity in the laboratory was shown against another harmful grasshopper,Ronderosia bergi(Stål) (Acridoidea: Acrididae: Melanoplinae). The mortality caused byF. verticillioidesonR. bergireached 58 ± 6.53% by 10 days after inoculation. This is the first record of natural infection caused byF. verticillioidesin grasshoppers.

Palabras clave
Ronderosia bergi
Tropidacris collaris

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