Dual effects of Metarhizium spp. and Clonostachys rosea against an insect and a seed‐borne pathogen in wheat

Pest Management Science, Wiley, ISSN 1526-4998

Volume 72, 3, 2016

DOI:10.1002/ps.4015, Dimensions: pub.1034229977, PMID: 25827357,



  1. (1) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU






BACKGROUND: Crops are often prone to both insect herbivory and disease, which necessitate multiple control measures. Ideally, an efficacious biological control agent must adequately control the target organism and not be inhibited by other biological control agents when applied simultaneously. Wheat seeds infected with the plant pathogen Fusarium culmorum were treated with Metarhizium brunneum or M. flavoviride and Clonostachys rosea individually and in combination, with the expectation to control both root-feeding insects and the pathogen. Emerging roots were evaluated for disease and then placed with Tenebrio molitor larvae, which were monitored for infection. RESULTS: Plant disease symptoms were nearly absent for seeds treated with C. rosea, both individually and in combination with Metarhizium spp. Furthermore, roots grown from seeds treated with Metarhizium spp. caused significant levels of fungal infection in larvae when used individually or combined with C. rosea. However, cotreated seeds showed reduced virulence towards T. molitor when compared with treatments using Metarhizium spp. only. CONCLUSIONS: This study clearly shows that seed treatments with both the entomopathogenic fungus M. brunneum and the mycoparasitic fungus C. rosea can protect plant roots from insects and disease. The dual-treatment approach to biological control presented here is consistent with the ideals of IPM strategies.

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