Beauveria bassiana Minimize

December 2001. Papua New Guinea asked about the fungus Beauveria bassiana, the cause of white muscadine disease, for the control of ants in relation to coffee pests.

Work was done on this fungus in the Pacific region some years ago against the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei) by CABI Bioscience.

June 2003. Also mentioned, was a project by the USDA on the Biological Control of the Coffee Berry Borer that started in 2005 and scheduled to end in 2010: Details of this project are as follows:

Continue exploration and evaluation of microbial control agents with the long-term goal of developing innovative biological control methods against the coffee berry borer. Focus will be on studies aimed at determining whether the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana can be used as a fungal endophyte for systemic control of the coffee berry borer and in the development of molecular techniques for detection of B bassiana in plant tissues. A search for new coffee berry borer biocontrol agents via foreign exploration for parasitoids, fungi, and nematodes will be conducted in Latin America and Africa.

Various techniques will be tested in order to optimize inoculation of coffee plants with the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana: (1) spraying flowers; (2) spraying seedlings; (3) injecting spore suspensions on the stem; and (4) inoculation of radicles. To determine if B bassiana has become established in the inoculated plants, polymerase chain reaction-based identification methods and specific molecular markers will be used. The program of exploration for new biological control agents of the coffee berry borer will be accomplished through collaborations with cooperators, such as ECOSUR (Mexico) and ICIPE (Kenya). Coffee plantations will be visited and coffee berries infected with the coffee berry borer will be sampled. Standard protocols will be used to survey for parasitoids, fungi, and nematodes attacking the insect.