In this study, five morphological types of circulating hemocytes were recognized in the hemolymph of the adult sunn pest, Eurygaster integriceps Puton (Hemiptera: Scutelleridae), namely prohemocytes, plasmatocytes, granulocytes, adipohemocytes, and oenocytoids. The effects of the secondary metabolites of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana on cellular immune defenses of Eurygaster integriceps were investigated. The results showed that the fungal secondary metabolites inhibited phagocytic activity of E. integriceps hemocytes and hampered nodule formation. A reduction of phenoloxidase activity was also observed. The data suggest that B. bassiana produce secondary metabolites that disable several immune mechanisms allowing the fungus to overcome and then kill its host. This characteristic makes B. bassiana a promising model for biological control of insect pests such as E. integriceps.
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Vol. 11 • No. 138