Entomopathogens: Ecological Manipulation of Natural Associations

Reto Engler, Martin H. Rogoff
1976 Environmental Health Perspectives  
The control of insect pests with entomopathogens is unique, in that naturally occurring host-pathogen relations are manipulated to the benefit of man: protecting agricultural crops and forests or controlling insect vectors of disease. The isolation and identification of a virulent pathogen is the initial step in the development of a potential control agent. Production of the pathogen in adequate quantities must be possible either in vivo (insects) or in vitro (artificial medium). To insure
more » ... um). To insure usefulness, the pathogen must remain viable in the formulated form and after application in the field. Since inactivation rather than persistence is a problem, the pathogens must be formulated, protected, and applied to insure satisfactory pest control action. Studying the natural host-pathogen interactions will be necessary in order to manipulate the pathogen effectively, by introducing it at the most opportune time in the life cycle of the target pest. Generally, insect pathogens are more selective than conventional pesticides; this will limit their use and industrial development. Development, at least in part, by the public sector may be necessary and desirable. The most promising areas for the use of pathogens are in integrated pest management and in situations where pests have developed resistance to chemical control. 157
doi:10.2307/3428373 fatcat:t6qlhxbwzbfcxcagnsilgjxqoy