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International Rice Research Notes





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Conidia of insect fungi actively invade BPH [brown planthopper]. After a conidium lands on the insect cuticle, germination takes about 8 to 16 h, depending on the temperature and relative humidity. After the germination, tuber is formed, the conidium produces specific chitinase enzymes to dissolve the insect cuticle. This allows the fungus to enter the insect body cavity, where further fungus growth occurs. At the end of the infection cycle, the mycelium sporulates on the outside of the insect. Conidia produced on the cadaver can infect healthy BPH initiating epizootics of the fungus. To test infection, 50 adult alate BPH were used for treatment. Insect were dipped in the conidia solution for about 60s and transferred to filter paper to drain. Control insects were dipped in Tween 80 solution. Insects were incubated on potted rice plants in mylar cages. Half the cages were covered with plastic bags for 2.5 h immediately after fungi application to raise RH to saturation. All pots were kept in a greenhouse at 25-30 deg C (day) and 15-20 deg C (night) for 5 d. Live and infected (dead and fungi-covered) insects were counted. Mortality due to fungus infection was calculated. The results show lessening, but not significantly different mortality with increasing fungus conidia treatment. Pregermination of the fungus Beauveria bassiana conidia and 2 h incubation at saturated RH did not increase BPH infection.

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