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Development of a biopesticide based on entomopathogenic fungi by liquid fermentation

Grant number: 14/13758-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2014
Effective date (End): July 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal Investigator:Vanessa da Silveira Duarte
Grantee:Bianca Corrêa
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


Sucking insects, such as whitefly, have caused major direct and indirect damage to several crops. In the case of whitefly this is due to the large phenotypic plasticity and also to the wide spectrum of host plants. Conventional pest management systems create negative impact on natural enemies and accelerate the evolution of resistance in populations of pests, due to instability of biological system. The pressure of the society for agricultural practices environmentally sustainable has stimulated the development of tactics of control to this pest with biopesticides based on entomopathogenic fungi as part of Integrated Pest Management programs. Consequently, the use of these biocontrol agents plays a central role in reducing dependence of pesticides and solve problems related resistance of whitefly. The most promising fungi for biological control of whiteflies are Beauveria bassiana, Lecanicillium spp. Isaria fumosorosea, and therefore they have high virulence and are easily produced in large quantities on artificial media, which enables the application in the field. In Brazil there are no commercial-based biopesticides fungal blastospores, and the bio-factories that produce these biocontrol agents produce and sell aerial conidia using the method of solid fermentation with cereal-based, especially rice. However, with the liquid fermentation can produce large amounts of blastospores, yeast phases, microsclerotia or submerged conidia in a short time (<4 days), in small space and low dependency of hand labor compared to the method of solid fermentation, this method still permits a superior quality control which facilitates the commercialization of propagules with standardized quality. In order to advance in knowledge of these technologies, the present project aims to study strategies for production, stabilization and formulation of fungal propagules, using Lecanicillum spp. for the control of whitefly.

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