Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 29, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Fungi offer great promise for use in managing pest arthropods. Over 700 species from a diversity of fungal groups are known as arthropod pathogens. Naturally occurring fungal entomopathogens can regulate insect populations, and this potential is being exploited for pest control. Fungal activity can be enhanced by environmental manipulation or preserved through alterations in pesticide use or tillage practices. Entomopathogens occurring in the land of origin of invasive pests have been established in areas of pest introduction to yield long-term, self-regulating pest control. Currently, the greatest emphasis for pest control is focused on inundative application of a few species of Deuteromycetes against insect pests. Greatest commercial success has been achieved with pathogens of the well-known genera Beauveria, Metarhizium, Paecilomyces and Verticillium. Worldwide, more than 30 products based on these fungi have been registered or are being developed, primarily for control of a broad range of stem-boring and foliage- and root-feeding pests of agriculture and forestry. Establishing markets for mycoinsecticide products in direct competition with highly efficacious synthetic chemical insecticides has proven difficult. Fungi may ultimately prove most successful as components within an overall pest management scheme. Future research on fungal epizootiology, infection mechanisms and fungal genetics may lead to great improvements in effective use.