Effect of Formulation on the Virulence of Metarhizium Anisopliae Conidia Against Mosquito Larvae

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Journal of Invertebrate Pathology





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Metarhizium anisopliae conidia were formulated with three granular carriers and nine dust diluents and stored over an 8- to 12-month period at 4° or 20°C. The virulence of formulations, with the exception of two dust preparations, was reduced significantly compared to unformulated conidia against Culex pipiens pipiens larvae. The formulation components most detrimental to conidial virulence were corn cob granules, diatomaceous earth, and two Kaolinite diluents. This was exampled by a decline in virulence from ca. 100% for unformulated conidia to 36% or below for these formulations. LT50 values also increased from 2.4–2.6 days for unformulated conidia to above 6 days. In contrast, a diluent derived from dried castor oil (Thixcin R) significantly enhanced conidial virulence at several doses above that of unformulated conidia against C. pipiens larvae. Enhancement occurred whether conidia were formulated prior to storage or stored separate from the diluent and mixed prior to application. The Thixcin R formulation was more effective against Anopheles stephensi larvae, but virulence was reduced against Aedes aegypti larvae. A bentonite formulation (Bentone-38) also maintained conidial virulence effectively, but Thixcin R was a superior diluent. It was shown that conidial virulence of formulations was not correlated with differences in conidial viability. The preparations that were applied dry by a surface method were more virulent than when an aqueous suspension containing a surfactant was used. The results demonstrate the need to assess efficacy of mycoinsecticidal formulations in a virulence bioassay prior to field testing.

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