Malaysian Applied Biology Journal

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47_05_04

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Malays. Appl. Biol. (2018) 47(5): 25–30

 

VIRULENCE EVALUATION OF ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGI

AGAINST THE RED PALM WEEVIL, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus

(COLEOPTERA: DRYOPTHORIDAE)


FONG JHUN HOU1, SITI NOR KHADIJAH ADDIS2 and WAHIZATUL AFZAN AZMI1*


1School of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu,

21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

2School of Fundamental Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu,

21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

*E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Accepted 10 October 2018, Published online 30 November 2018


ABSTRACT

Recently, a new invasive insect pest of palm trees known as red palm weevil (RPW) or Rhynchophorus ferrugineus has been the centre of attention among Malaysian entomologists and agricultural agencies since it can reduce the productivity of two major crops, oil palm and coconut. Thus, it is crucial to come up with an effective and green control method to manage the pest before it causes any significant economic losses. In order to overcome such issues, biological control by using microbial pathogen is the most preferable method because it is safe to non-living organisms. Entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) are insects host specific fungi but friendly to the environment. In this study, the pathogenicity of three species of EPF which were Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassiana and Paecilomyces sp. were tested against the adult RPW. Screening and bioassay tests were carried out to determine the most effective EPF and its optimum concentration, respectively. Results showed that M. anisopliae was the most virulent compared to B. bassiana and Paecilomyces sp., achieving 100% mortality within 12 days. The percentage of mortality was significantly increased with the increase in conidial concentration, where the highest conidial concentration 7.85×108 conidia per mL killed a high number of adult RPW compared to lower concentration. Information obtained from this study will give us a better understanding on the potential use of indigenous EPF, which will be the first step in the development of possible new biocontrol agent of this invasive coconut pest in Malaysia.

Key words: Entomopathogenic fungi, red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, Metarhizium anisopliae, biocontrol

 

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