Silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Aleyrodidae), potato/ tomato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli Sulc. (Triozidae), and western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thripidae), are insect pests of economic importance in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) and other solanaceous vegetables in México. Soil is the main reservoir for many entomopathogenic fungi known as biological control agents important for IPM, but only a few strains obtained from soil have been used against insect pests. In this study, the biological activity of two native isolates of entomopathogenic fungi (from soil at Chihuahua, México), was evaluated against immatures of the three insect pests in a laboratory. Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) (Bb-CIAD1) isolate was more virulent than the Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Socorin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) (Ma-CIAD1) isolate. Mortality based on mycosis varied significantly 8 days after inoculation. The number of immature insects infected by fungi was correlated with spore concentration. Beauveria bassiana (Bb-CIAD1) and M. anisopliae (Ma-CIAD1) had LT50 values of 5.6–6.4 and 5.3–6.5 days, respectively. The results indicated that psyllids, thrips, and whiteflies were susceptible to the native fungal isolates with potential as microbial control agents. Based on the results, we suggest the native isolates of entomopathogenic fungi from soil could be used as biological control agents of many other insect pests.
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Vol. 39 • No. 4