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New Zealand Plant Protection 64 (2011): 286

Production of Metarhizium anisopliae microsclerotia for insect control

M.B. Najera-Rincon, T.L. Nelson, D.A. Wright, R.J. Townsend and T.A. Jackson


The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) has recently been found capable of producing compact hyphal aggregates (microsclerotia) under specific culture conditions that become pigmented during growth. The microsclerotia can be formulated and are stable when dried for storage. Upon rehydration, hyphae grow from the microsclerotes, develop into a fungal pellet and produce large quantities of conidia. In this study, microsclerotia were produced using New Zealand, USA and Mexican strains of M. anisopliae and characterised for production requirements, stability and conidial production. Microsclerotia were produced in shake flasks and fermenter vessels, and differences were observed in growth and production according to strain and C:N ratio. The potential of microsclerotia formulations for biocontrol of red-headed cockchafer (Adoryphorus couloni, Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is currently under evaluation.

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