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Differential susceptibility of Amblyomma maculatum and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidea) to the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae



Differential susceptibility of Amblyomma maculatum and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidea) to the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae



Biological control: theory and application in pest management 31(3): 414-421



Nymph and adult ticks from Ambylomma americanum and Ambylomma maculatum were treated with conidia and blastospores of the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana (90517) and Metarhizium anisopliae (20500). Fungal suspensions of conidia harvested from potato dextrose plates containing 108 conidia/ml caused greater than 90% mortality in adult A. maculatum but less than 10% mortality in adult A. americanum over a 28 day time course. Similarly, infection with M. anisopliae (108 conidia/ml) resulted in 60 and 15% mortality in A. maculatum and A. americanum, respectively. Nymphs of both tick species were more susceptible to fungal infection reaching mortality rates of almost 100% for A. maculatum and over 35% for A. americanum. Scanning electron microscopy of infected ticks showed rapid attachment, germination, and proliferation of fungal spores on A. maculatum cuticles, and to a much lesser extent on A. americanum cuticles. Pentane extracts of A. americanum cuticle hydrocarbons inhibited germination and hyphal growth of B. bassiana conidia, whereas no inhibition was observed using A. maculatum extracts. Significant mortality towards A. americanum was observed (>60%, 28 days) only when the ticks were treated with R bassiana directly from the growth medium (107 blastospores/ml, grown for 3-4 days in Sabouraud dextrose + 0.5% yeast extract liquid media). These results indicate tick species display differential susceptibility to the entomopathogenic fungi R bassiana and M. anisopliae, and that the ability to overcome fungistatic compounds present in the tick epicuticle may determine the likelihood of successful infection and virulence.

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Accession: 013108958

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DOI: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2004.07.007


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