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The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), vectors ‘Candidatus Liberibacter spp.’, the causative agent of Citrus Greening Disease (CGD) or Huanglongbing (HLB). Managing populations of psyllids in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV), TX, United States is imperative given a continuous increase in HLB-positive trees. A component of integrated pest management (IPM) program is the use of strains of entomopathogenic fungi for the biological control of D. citri. In an attempt to find endemic strains of entomopathogenic fungi that grow favorably under LRGV environmental conditions and naturally infect D. citri, psyllids were collected from local residential areas, surface sterilized, and plated on a semi-selective agar medium. Collection of over 9,300 samples from 278 sites throughout the LRGV led to the positive identification of two Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivellii) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) isolates, ACP18001 and ACP18002. Chi-square analysis of primary and secondary acquisition bioassays revealed that both field isolated strains outperformed Cordyceps (Isaria) fumosorosea (Wize) (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) Apopka97 under both primary (direct spray) and secondary acquisition (adult exposure to sprayed foliage) bioassays with ACP18002 marginally outperforming ACP18001 under secondary acquisition. Slopes of the dose response regression lines for the three fungi were not significantly different. In addition, the thermal profiles for vegetative growth of each isolate indicated that the field isolates grew at higher rates than the standard at higher temperatures. The new isolates may prove to be good candidates for the management of D. citri populations in the LRGV.


Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2021. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

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Journal of Economic Entomology





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