Biological control of wireworms with entomopathogenic fungi


Abstract: Three species of wireworms, Agriotes lineatus, A. obscurus and A. sputator, areeconomically important soil pests in arable and vegetable crops in Europe. Fungi of the genusMetarhizium are natural pathogens of wireworms. We tested the virulence of three EuropeanMetarhizium strains in laboratory experiments and found a maximum mortality of up to 80% fourweeks post inoculation. We further investigated stability of the virulence of the most effectivestrain ART2825 after ten times of subcultivation on artificial media. There was no difference invirulence compared to a treatment of larvae that were infected with freshly host-passed conidia.We conclude that Metarhizium strain ART2825 is a potential candidate for the control ofwireworms and we will continue to validate its efficacy under field conditions.

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