ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Phenotypic and molecular characterization of the causal agent of chafer beetle mortality in the wheat fields of the Kurdistan province, Iran
 
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1
Plant Protection Department, Agricultural Faculty, University of Tabriz, P.O. Box 5166614766, Tabriz, Iran
2
Plant Protection Department, Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center of Kurdistan, P.O. Box 714, Sanandaj, Iran
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Keivan Karimi
Plant Protection Department, Agricultural Faculty, University of Tabriz, P.O. Box 5166614766, Tabriz, Iran
Submission date: 2014-09-09
Acceptance date: 2015-06-19
 
Journal of Plant Protection Research 2015;55(3):227–234
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ABSTRACT
We report the first case of chafer beetle [Anisoplia austriaca (Herbst 1783)] mortality caused by Actinomucor elegans var. elegans in wheat fields of the Kurdistan province, Iran. For three years, dead larvae of Anisoplia austriaca were collected from wheat fields of the Kurdistan province. Similar isolates of a fast-growing fungus were recovered from all samples. The fungal isolates were identified as A. elegans var. elegans based on morphological and cultural characteristics. The identity of the species was further confirmed using sequence data of the ITS (Internal Transcribed Spacer) region of ribosomal DNA. Koch’s postulates were fulfilled by the inoculation of the larvae of A. austriaca and Galleria mellonella (Linnaeus, 1758) (as the model insect) using the spore suspension of A. elegans var. elegans. The viability of sporangiospores was evaluated using a spore dilution technique on germination medium. The results on the pathogenicity (100% mortality in A. austriaca larvae) and viability tests (germination: 95.45%) demonstrated that A. elegans var. elegans can be considered as a potential biocontrol agent against the chafer beetle. Field experiments are still required to evaluate the capacity of A. elegans as a biological control agent.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
 
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