Visible light during mycelial growth and conidiation of Metarhizium robertsii produces conidia with increased stress tolerance


  • Editor: Geoffrey Gadd

Correspondence: Donald W. Roberts, Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-5305, USA. Tel.: +1 435 797 0049; fax: +1 435 797 1575; e-mail:


Light conditions during mycelial growth are known to influence fungi in many ways. The effect of visible-light exposure during mycelial growth was investigated on conidial tolerance to UVB irradiation and wet heat of Metarhizium robertsii, an insect-pathogenic fungus. Two nutrient media and two light regimens were compared. Conidia were produced on (A) potato dextrose agar plus yeast extract medium (PDAY) (A1) under dark conditions or (A2) under continuous visible light (provided by two fluorescent lamps with intensity 5.4 W m−2). For comparison, the fungus was also produced on (B) minimal medium (MM) under continuous-dark incubation, which is known to produce conidia with increased tolerance to heat and UVB radiation. The UVB tolerances of conidia produced on PDAY under continuous visible light were twofold higher than conidia produced on PDAY medium under dark conditions, and this elevated UVB tolerance was similar to that of conidia produced on MM in the dark. The heat tolerance of conidia produced under continuous light was, however, similar to that of conidia produced on MM or PDAY in the dark. Conidial yield on PDAY medium was equivalent when the fungus was grown either under continuous-dark or under continuous-light conditions.