The pathogenicity of six Metarhizium spp., four Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin, and four Tolypocladium cylindrosporum Gams (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) fungal pathogens exposed to third-instar Delia radicum L. was evaluated in laboratory bioassays. The presence of intra- and intergeneric variations concerning the pathogenicity of the isolates was investigated. Results show that all Metarhizium spp. and T. cylindrosporum isolates caused a noteworthy mortality to the third instar and consequently reduced adult eclosion. The well-known standard, F52 strain (identified as Metarhizium brunneum), resulted in up to 79% reduction in D. radicum eclosion. The other Metarhizium isolates including UAMH 9197 (Metarhizium anisopliae) and UAMH 2801 (M. brunneum), as well as T. cylindrosporum DAOM 167325 and DAOM 183952, produced a mean eclosion reduction of >50%. While the pathogenicity of Metarhizium spp. and T. cylindrosporum is similar, the B. bassiana isolates are undoubtedly less pathogenic. Based on the results obtained with the selected isolates, no intrageneric differences relative to the pathogenicity of the isolates appeared to be present. Globally, this study deepened the knowledge about D. radicum susceptibility toward Hypocreales entomopathogenic fungi, chiefly T. cylindrosporum. The implications of this study regarding the development of a biological control agent are discussed.
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