Occurrence of entomopathogenic fungi in tejocote (Crataegus mexicana) orchard soils and their pathogenicity against Rhagoletis pomonella

Authors

  • E. Muñiz-Reyes,

    1. Entomología y Acarología, Postgrado en Fitosanidad, Colegio de Postgraduados, Texcoco, Estado de Mexico, Mexico
    Current affiliation:
    1. Programa de Sanidad Forestal y Agrícola, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias, Campo Experimental Valle de México, Km 13.5 Carretera Reyes-Texcoco, Coatlinchan, Texcoco, Estado de México 56250, México
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  • A.W. Guzmán-Franco,

    Corresponding author
    1. Entomología y Acarología, Postgrado en Fitosanidad, Colegio de Postgraduados, Texcoco, Estado de Mexico, Mexico
    • Correspondence

      Ariel W. Guzmán-Franco, Postgrado en Fitosanidad, Entomología y Acarología, Colegio de Postgraduados, Km, 36.5 Carretera Mexico-Texcoco, Montecillo, Texcoco, Estado de Mexico 56230, Mexico.

      E-mail: gariel@colpos.mx

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  • J. Sánchez-Escudero,

    1. Entomología y Acarología, Postgrado en Fitosanidad, Colegio de Postgraduados, Texcoco, Estado de Mexico, Mexico
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  • R. Nieto-Angel

    1. Instituto de Horticultura, Departamento de Fitotecnia, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Chapingo, Estado de Mexico, Mexico
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Abstract

Aims

To determine the abundance and diversity of entomopathogenic fungi in tejocote orchard soils and evaluate their ability to infect Rhagoletis pomonella Walsh., the main pest of tejocote.

Methods and Results

Surveys were made in two locations in Mexico state and two in Puebla state. Soil from selected locations was baited for entomopathogenic fungi with Galleria mellonella (L.). All isolates were identified morphologically to genus level and to species level using Bloc and elongation factor 1-α gene sequence information, respectively; Beauveria bassiana ((Bals.-Criv.) Vuill.), B. pseudobassiana (S.A. Rehner & Humber) and Metarhizium robertsii (J.F. Bisch., Rehner & Humber) were found, with B. bassiana being the most abundant and widely distributed. Pathogenicity of five selected B. bassiana isolates and three M. robertsii isolates was evaluated against larvae and pupae of R. pomonella. All isolates infected larvae resulting in an average mortality of 35%. Pupae were not susceptible; however, adults emerging from inoculated pupae did die due to infection.

Conclusions

At least three species of entomopathogenic fungi are present in the soil from tejocote orchards, with B. bassiana being the most abundant and widely distributed. Rhagoletis pomonella larvae were more susceptible to infection than pupae.

Significance and Impact of the Study

Our study has produced new information about the distribution of entomopathogenic fungi in cultivated soils from this region of North America, contributing to a better understanding of their natural occurrence and underpinning the development of biological control approaches.

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