Occurrence and diversity of entomopathogenic fungi (Beauveria spp. and Metarhizium spp.) in Australian vineyard soils.

Affiliation

National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Boorooma St, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales 2650, Australia. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Entomopathogenic Ascomycetes: Hypocreales fungi occur worldwide in the soil; however, the abundance and distribution of these fungi in a vineyard environment is unknown. A survey of Australian vineyards was carried out in order to isolate and identify entomopathogenic fungi. A total of 240 soil samples were taken from eight vineyards in two states (New South Wales and Victoria). Insect baiting (using Tenebrio molitor) and soil dilution methods were used to isolate Beauveria spp. and Metarhizium spp. from all soil samples. Of the 240 soil samples, 60% contained either Beauveria spp. (26%) or Metarhizium spp. (33%). Species of Beauveria and Metarhizium were identified by sequencing the B locus nuclear intergenic region (Bloc) and elongation factor-1 alpha (EFT1) regions, respectively. Three Beauveria species (B. bassiana, B. australis and B. pseudobassiana) and six Metarhizium species (M. guizhouense, M. robertsii, M. brunneum, M. flavoviride var. pemphigi, M. pingshaense and M. majus) were identified. A new sister clade made up of six isolates was identified within B. australis. Two potentially new phylogenetic species (six isolates each) were found within the B. bassiana clade. This study revealed a diverse community of entomopathogenic fungi in sampled Australian vineyard soils.

Keywords

Ascomycetes: Hypocreales,Bloc,EFT1,Molecular taxonomy,Soil survey,Vineyard,

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