Submitted to: International Union of Microbiological Societies Proceedings/Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Development of entomopathogenic fungi as microbial control agents was pursued intensively during the 1960s and 1970s, and operational scale programs for use of Beauveria and Metarhizium against a variety of pests were ultimately established by government agencies or grower cooperatives worldwide. Unfortunately, the progress represented by these efforts did not lead to widespread adoption of fungal pathogens for commercial pest control, and until recently, reliable mycoinsecticide products remained largely unavailable to private users. The reasons for this are complex and many, but relate particularly to problems with production efficiency and product stability. Within the past decade, however, significant advances in the mass production, formulation, storage stabilization, and application of entomopathogenic fungi have stimulated a marked increase in commercialization efforts. Since 1990, more than 25 mycoinsecticide products have been registered or trademarked worldwide. Despite this progress, however, commercial markets for these products have been slow to develop and numerous challenges remain. This presentation focuses on recent technological breakthroughs that have led to renewed interest in commercialization of fungal pathogens, the most important constraints to achieving broader commercial success, and a current assessment of the near- and long-term pest control potential of these microbial control agents in various production systems.