Laboratory studies assessing the microbial biocontrol potential of diverse strains of Beauveria bassiana isolated from coffee berry borer, with emphasis on strains from Hawai'i Island and comparisons to commercial strain GHA.J Invertebr Pathol. 2022 Oct; 194:107819.JI
A series of experiments investigated genetically diverse strains of Beauveria bassiana (Bb) isolated from coffee berry borer (CBB). Objectives included assessment of their biocontrol potential, particularly in comparison to Bb commercial strain GHA currently applied for CBB control, and identification of various attributes potentially contributing to their comparatively greater epizootic potential in CBB populations. Bioassays identified one strain from Hawai'i Island and one from Puerto Rico with virulence greater than GHA based on equal weights of unformulated conidial powder (CP); however, the greater potency of the CPs was ultimately explained by their 2.4-fold greater conidial densities (ca. 3.1 vs 1.3 × 1011 viable conidia/g CP). Density was explained, in large part, by conidial size, but not by size alone. Bb-inoculated CBB held on moist filter paper were more susceptible to infection than those held on cooked green coffee bean (CGCB). A Bb strain representative of the most common Hawaiian haplotype produced 2.6x more conidia after death of CGCB-held beetles than GHA (19.1 vs 7.3 x106 conidia/cadaver). Following host death, no difference was observed in time to emergence and initial conidial production by GHA and a selected group of Hawaiian strains; however, mass sporulation was initiated within 2 days by strain GHA compared to 4-5 days by the Hawaiian strains. In a preliminary evaluation of conidial mass-production potential, CP yields of several strains were comparable to GHA on a weight basis and significantly greater than GHA on a conidial basis (1.3-1.6 vs 0.7 × 1013 viable conidia/kg barley substrate).