A Phenology Model and Field Evaluation of Beauveria Bassiana (Bals.) Vuillemin (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes) Mycosis of the European Corn Borer, Ostrinia Nubilalis (Hbn.) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

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The Canadian Entomologist





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A simulation model was developed to predict the timing of European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hbn.), larval mortality following exposure to Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuillemin conidia. Model response was compared with laboratory and field data collected specifically for model validation. In laboratory validation experiments, four conidial doses of a B. bassiana isolate collected from the People’s Republic of China were applied to European corn borer larvae which were then incubated at fluctuating temperatures. Simulation results compared favorably with fungal development and mycosis under laboratory conditions. Field validation experiments showed that applications of B. bassiana to European corn borer neonates in whorl-stage corn resulted in mortality levels over 60% when conidia and European corn borers were placed on the plants on the same day. When B. bassiana conidia were placed on plants prior to European corn borers, mortality decreased linearly with time. Model predictions of the timing of European corn borer mortality were found to be accurate when B. bassiana conidia were placed on corn plants at the same time or prior to European corn borers. When European corn borers were placed on plants prior to conidia, the model underestimated the time to European corn borer death. Lack of model fit in this situation is thought to be due to delayed host and pathogen interactions on the corn plant rather than poor prediction of the physiological development of the disease.

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