Virulence of Natural and Insect Passaged Strains of Metarhizium Anisopliae to Mosquito Larvae

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Journal of Invertebrate Pathology





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Forty-seven isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae (small-spored form) and five isolates of M. anisopliae var. major (large-spored form) obtained from widely separated geographical regions from various insect hosts were screened for virulence against Culex pipiens pipiens larvae. Pathogenesis was variable with mortalities ranging from 0 to 100%. However, much of the variation in mortality among small-spored isolates was due to lowered natural viabilities. The most virulent isolates were from Austria, Australia, and Brazil from insect species in three different orders. Isolates from the major strain were generally avirulent. There was no correlation of strain morphology, geographical region of isolation, or original host species with strain virulence. The strains most virulent to C. pipiens larvae were also highly infective to Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi larvae. Virulence of two strains (E6 and E9) to C. pipiens larvae was significantly enhanced by one passage through a C. pipiens larval siphon. Relative potencies increased approximately 1.63 to 2.45 times. A smaller increase in virulence, depending upon the isolate, was also shown when these same strains were tested against A. aegypti and A. stephensi. Virulence of strain E9 was also increased significantly by passage through an alternate host, Nilaparvata lugens.

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