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Biological control of the darkling beetle, Alphitobius diaperinus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) based on a fungal bioinsecticide

Grant number: 19/16636-8
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: August 01, 2020 - April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Tatiana Magalhães
Grantee:Tatiana Magalhães
Company:Decoy Tecnologia em Controle de Pragas S/A
CNAE: Criação de aves
Atividades de apoio à pecuária
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: Ribeirão Preto
Assoc. researchers:Lucas Garcia von Zuben ; NILCE NAOMI KOBORI ; Túlio Marcos Nunes
Associated scholarship(s):20/12951-3 - Biological control of the darkling beetle, Alphitobius diaperinus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) based on a fungal bioinsecticide, BP.TT


The lesser darkling beetle (Alphitobius diaperinus, Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) is one of the main pests in the intensive poultry farming worldwide. Among the economic problems, the most important are weight loss, disease transmission by virus, fungi and bacteria and destruction of the infrastructure. The control methods used are based in chemical insecticides, with resistence problems of this insect. This kind of control not only is inefficient but presents high toxicity to humans and the environment. In the literature there are studies with entomopathogenic fungi controlling lesser darkling beetle and previous experiments conducted by the company Decoy Smart Control confirm these results. The production of the biological control agent is, in most companies, solid static fermentation, with the production and commercialization of aerial conidia propagules. Blastospores based bioproducts in Brazil are inexistent. This kind of propagule of the leveduriform type can be produced in few days and in high yields by liquid fermentation with efficacy against many insect pests. It is known that the aerial conidia germination takes 16 hours, while the blastospore, 6 hours, and this is an interesting characteristic of the blastospore in acting fast over the target. In recent years, fungi production through liquid fermentation is way more viable and economic, producing different types of propagules, such as blastospores, that germinate faster and are more infective to pests than conidia in many cases. Thus, this project leads to a sustainable and efficient alternative for the lesser darkling beetle by biological agents, selecting some promising isolates of Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anispoliae e Isaria fumosorosea, and also the comparative virulence analysis between aerial conidia and blastospores. This proposal finds the organic poultry and eggs demand for the development of a sustainable biological commercial product to be used in the integrate pest management of this important pest. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Nuevos agentes biológicos contra las plagas 
New biological pest control agents 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
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