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Evaluation of the Pathogenicity Test of Some Entomopathogenic Fungus Isolates against Tomato Leaf Miner Tuta Absoluta (Meyrick) Larvae [Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae])

Authors: Tadesse Kebede, Orkun Baris Kovanci


Tomatoes leaf minor (Tutaabasoluta) is one of the most economically important insect pest in tomatoes production. The use of biological control such as entomopathogen fungi isolates would be a long-term and cost-effective solution to control insects pest. Therefore, identifying the most virulent and pathogenic entomopathogen fungi is one of the basic requirements for effective management options to combat Tomatoes leaf minor (Tutaabasoluta). Furthermore, the pathogenicity and virulence difference among entomopathogenfungus strains is not widely well investıgated. The current study was therefore initiated to test the pathogenicity of some entomopathogenic fungus isolates against Tutaabsoluta. The experiment was conducted at Bursa Uludag University, Agiculutre faculty, horticulture department glasshouse in 2020/2021. Tutabasoluta adult were collected, and masslarvae were reared in a growth chamber. Then, ten third instar larvae were inoculated with four entomopathogen fungi isolates (Beuaveriabassania Ak-10, Beuaveriabassania Ak-14, Metarhziumanisoplai Ak-11, and Metarhziumanisoplai Ak-12) with different inoculum suspension (0, 1x10⁶, 1x10⁷,,4 × 10⁸, 4× 10⁹ and 1×10¹⁰ conidia /ml) in a factorial experiment arranged in randomized complete block design with three replication. Mortality data assessment was done on the 3rd, 5thand 7th days after treatment and analyzed. The analysis of variance for mortality rate revealed significant variations (p<0.05) among entomoptahogen fungi isolates and conidia concentrations. The results revealed thatMetarhziumanisoplai Ak-12was found to show the lowest mortality percentage80.77%, highest LC50 2.3x108, and the longest incubation period, LT50, 4.9 and LT90, 9.9daysand considered to be less pathogenic fungi. On the other hand, Beuaveriabassania Ak-10 isolate showed the highest mortality percentage, 91%, and the lowest LT50, 4, and LT90, 7.6 values at 1×10¹⁰ conidia /ml, followed by Beuaveriabassania Ak-14 and being considered as the most aggressive bio-agent. Metarhziumanisoplai Ak-11 was determined as moderately virulent, having a mortality rate 27-81%. Results also revealed that among conidia concentrations, 1x10⁹ and 1x10¹⁰ suspensions is the most effective, while 1x10⁶ conidia/ml concentration is the least effective. Hence, results indicated that EPF tested were effective against T. absoluta larvae. As the current work revealed the potential variation among entomopathogen fungi isolates and concentration against third instar larvae.

Keywords: tuta absoluta, tomato, metarhizium anisopliae, beauveria bassiana, biological control

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