Screening of tropical isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae for virulence to the red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

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Abstract

The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a serious pest of the palm tree in tropical regions of the world. One strain of Metarhizium sp. ZJ-1, isolated from Chinese soils, was evaluated for growth characteristics, and screened for its virulence to R. ferrugineus larvae in laboratory conditions. An approximately 685-bp fragment was amplified by ITS (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) PCR from strain ZJ-1, further phylogenetic analysis revealed that 93 % similarity to Metarhizium anisopliae. Inoculation of 1 × 108 conidia/mL caused 100 % mortality of R. ferrugineus, LT50 levels of ZJ-1 were 1.66 days (1 × 108 conidia/mL), indicating that the conidia of strain ZJ-1 were highly virulent. These results suggest that M. anisopliae ZJ-1 has potential as an effective and persistent biological control agent for R. ferrugineus.

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Sun, X., Yan, W., Qin, W., Zhang, J., Niu, X., Ma, G., & Li, F. (2016). Screening of tropical isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae for virulence to the red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). SpringerPlus, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-2780-6

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