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variants Lm-v-2 vs Lm-v-3, the results are contrary. The efficacy was minor in inoculation of L. monacha larvae with conidia of a re-isolate obtained from the initial host (25.65 % ± 7.16 vs 27.85 % ± 10.04).
In bioassays with different isolates of B. bassiana against L. dispar larvae, Draganova et al. (2013) describe that host larvae were tolerant to mycosis caused by the tested isolates, which is in accordance with the findings reported here.
We found that the mycoses caused by Isaria fumosorosea or Isaria farinosa show a remarkably lower lethal effect to forest pests compared to mycoses caused by B. bassiana or M. anisopliae, as has been shown in laboratory studies of Nedveckyte et al. (2011) with larvae of Bupalus piniaria L. (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) and the entomopathogenic fungi Isaria farinosa, B. bassiana and M. anisopliae. Although some hyphomycete species were found in natural popu­lations of L. dispar, and Paecilomeces farinosus was the most common (however in very low infection levels of 4.6 % to 12.2 %), the fungal pathogen with the highest virulence for L. dispar larvae is the entomophthoralean fungus Entomophaga maimaiga Humber, Shimazu et Soper (Hajek et al. 1997). E. maimaiga is a pathogen with high specificity, and its life cycle is perfectly synchronized with the life cycle of its insect host (Hajek 1999).
According to Zimmerman (2008), Isaria fumosorosea should be applied in combination with other entomopathogenic fungi, such as Lecanicillium and Beauveria. This suggestion will be considered in our future experiments. Due to the capacity of Isaria fumosorosea to cause natural epizootics and the rising commercial demand for bioproducts based on this fungus (Zimmermann 2008), further experiments should be directed to the development of effective laboratory trials.
Our results show that L. dispar and L. monacha larvae are within the physiological host range of the used Isaria fumosorosea isolate from H. cunea and re-isolates obtained from infected larvae of D. pini, L. monacha and L. dispar, however their susceptibility is low. Indirect exposure through surface contact of host larvae with fungal conidia caused higher efficacy of mycosis.
The authors are grateful to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and to the staff of the Landeskompetenzzentrum Forest Eberswalde (LFE) for supporting this study.
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