The fungal pathogen Beauveria bassiana is a widely used as a mycoinsecticide for control of several insect pests, providing a biological alternative to chemical insecticides. A key advantage for microbial control agents is their potential to replicate and persist in the environment, offering continued suppression of insect pest populations. Exploiting this advantage, however, is commensurate with the need to determine impact of mass releases of this fungus on non-target organisms and to assure safety and long term efficacy. To date, no information is available on the impact of a mass-released fungal entomopathogen on conspecific indigenous populations in agricultural fields. In this study we are evaluating the effects of mass releases of a commercial formulation of B. bassiana strain GHA on naturally occurring conspecific strains by comparing prevalence of and genetic diversity within indigenous populations of B. bassiana in potato fields with no history of GHA treatment and in fields representing a range of GHA application histories for control of the Colorado potato beetle.
Species 1: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetle)
Species 2: Moniliales Moniliaceae Beauveria bassiana
Keywords: microbial control
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