Submitted to: Biocontrol
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 19, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The European corn borer is a very serious pest of corn controlled primarily by rescue treatments with chemical insecticides and plant resistance. An insect killing fungus, Beauveria bassiana, has great potential for use as a biologically-based crop protectant. Beauveria was formulated on a granule and applied to whorl and pollen shedding stage corn to protect the plant from feeding by European corn borer larvae. The fungus significantly reduced damage to the plants. It was also evident that when the fungus was applied to whorl stage corn the plant was protected from the European corn borer for the entire season. Development of Beauveria as a crop protectant provides the corn grower with a bioligcally-based insecticide.
Technical Abstract: The efficacy of an application of Beauveria bassiana, (Balsamo) Vuillemin, for season-long suppression of Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner) (Lepidoptera:Crambidae) was evaluated in 1996 and 1997 at locations across Iowa. In 1996 significant reductions were observed in centimeters of tunneling by O. nubilalis in plants treated with B. bassiana, plus significant reductions in the number plants on which O. nubilalis fed. In 1997, B. bassiana caused significant reductions in larval tunneling at all locations; however, a significant increase in the number of plants with no insect feeding occurred at only one site. Plants were collected and evaluated for presence or absence of endophytic B. bassiana. No significant differences were found in the percentage of plants with an endophytic relationship; however, the trend, with the exception of one site, was for a greater percentage of endophytic plants in treated versus untreated plants. A whorl-stage application of a granular formulation of B. bassiana provided season long suppression of O. nubilalis.