A complex of Fusarium spp., including F. pseudograminearum, F. culmorum, F. avenaceum, F. equiseti, and F. acuminatum, was isolated from field-collected larval cadavers of wheat stem sawfly at two locations for 2 yr. The Fusarium spp. isolates caused mortality in both diapausing larvae in a topical bioassay and in developing larvae feeding in infected stems in a greenhouse experiment. Larval mortality was >90% in both experiments at the highest dose. The pattern of correlation between integument discoloration, hyphal growth, and larval mortality showed that the Fusarium spp. isolates actively infect larvae and kill them, rather than colonizing larval tissue as secondary postmortem invaders. The versatility of Fusarium spp. as plant and insect pathogens enables colonization that results in disease in wheat plants and subsequent mortality of the wheat stem sawfly larvae developing within the same tissue.
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