Application of indigenous entomopathogenic fungi as potential bio-pesticides against Tuta absoluta

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University of Dar es Salaam
In Tanzania, tomato production is an important activity which has attracted farmers mainly due to its pontential in human dit and monetary gains in a relative shorter period of time. However production of tomato has been challenged with various pests in which one among them is Tuta absoluta. Chemical control of T. Absoluta has been found to b less effective and very expensive to farmers meanwhile its residue in the soil render a long-threat to plant and animal ecology. In the quest to develop an alternative control of T. Absoluta, this study was designed to identify indigenous entomopathogenic fungi that could effectively control T. Absoluta while avoiding human and environmental health impact. Thirty six (36) fungi isolates were obtained from the soil using Soboraud Dextrose Agar media. The fungal isolates were further cultured on starch agar media, Tween 20(10%) agar media and casein hydrolysis media to observe their ability to secrete amylase, lipase and proteases respectively. Eight fungi isolates were able to secrete the enzyme thus, were analyzed for their ability to inhibit T. Absoluta larvae growth under laboratory bioassays at a concentration of 1x106, 1x107 and 1x108 spores/mL at an interval of every 24 hours. Four out of eight fungi species caused mortality of pest larvae after 4 days post inoculation and then were identified by using molecular characterization methods. The isolates were identified to Aspergillus terreus, Penicillium steckii, Purpureocillium lilacinum and Purpureocillium lilacinum with mortality rate of 80%, 90%, and 80% respectively. Thus, these fungi possess features as potential biopestcides for biological control of T. absoluta and other pests especially for solaneceous plants.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library, (THS EAF SB 933.334.T34R457)
Nematodes, microbiological methods-microbial insecticides, Tuta absoluta, Bio-pesticides, Tanzania
Renson, C. (2020). Application of indigenous entomopathogenic fungi as potential bio-pesticides against Tuta absoluta