We used a newly developed bioassay method to demonstrate for the first time the potential of the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae to be used for the control of neonate larvae of Capnodis tenebrionis, a major threat to stone-fruit orchards in several countries. Four B. bassiana and four M. anisopliae isolates were all pathogenic for neonate larvae of C. tenebrionis; mortality rates 10 days after inoculation by dipping in a suspension with 108conidia/ml varied from 23.5% to 100%. Three of the four M. anisopliae isolates caused 100% mortality. In most cases, postmortem hyphal growth and sporulation of M. anisopliae or B. bassiana was observed covering the larvae in their galleries. The eight isolates were also evaluated for pathogenicity to C. tenebrionis eggs at the same dosage. Only two B. bassiana isolates caused significant egg hatching reduction of 84.5% and 94.5%. Our results indicate that M. anisopliae and B. bassiana may be considered as promising for a new approach to prevent larval infestations by C. tenebrionis. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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