Tolerance of entomopathogenic fungi to ultraviolet radiation: A review on screening of strains and their formulations
Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is probably the most detrimental environmental factor affecting the viability of entomopathogenic fungi applied to solar-exposed sites (e.g., leaves) for pest control. Most entomopathogenic fungi are sensitive to UV radiation, but there is great inter- and intraspecies variability in susceptibility to UV. This variability may reflect natural adaptations of isolates to their different environmental conditions. Selecting strains with outstanding natural tolerance to UV is considered as an important step to identify promising biological control agents. However, reports on tolerance among the isolates used to date must be analyzed carefully due to considerable variations in the methods used to garner the data. The current review presents tables listing many studies in which different methods were applied to check natural and enhanced tolerance to UV stress of numerous entomopathogenic fungi, including several well-known isolates of these fungi. The assessment of UV tolerance is usually conducted with conidia using dose-response methods, wherein the UV dose is calculated simply by multiplying the total irradiance by the period (time) of exposure. Although irradiation from lamps seldom presents an environmentally realistic spectral distribution, laboratory tests circumvent the uncontrollable circumstances associated with field assays. Most attempts to increase field persistence of microbial agents have included formulating conidia with UV protectants; however, in many cases, field efficacy of formulated fungi is still not fully adequate for dependable pest control.