Volume No. 8 Issue No.: 3A Page No.: 614-618 Jan-Mar 2014

 

Cordyceps SPECIES AS A BIO-CONTROL AGENT AGAINST COCONUT ROOT GRUB, Leucopholis coneophora BURM

 

Santhosh Kumar T.* and Aparna N. S.

Regional Agricultural Research Station, Kerala Agricultural University, Kasargod, Kerala (INDIA)

 

Received on : September 14, 2013

 

ABSTRACT

 

Indiscriminate use of synthetic chemical pesticides affected the stability of agro- ecosystems which resulted in pesticide hazards viz., human health problems, environmental pollution, pesticide resistance, pest resurgence, secondary pest outbreak, etc. The demand for eco-friendly methods leads to the exploration of naturally occurring bio-control agents for pest control. Entomopathogenic fungi are important among all the biological control agents due to its broad host range, route of pathogenicity and its ability to control sap sucking pests and insects with chewing mouthparts. Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi (Sac Fungi) that are endoparasitoids, mainly on insects and other arthropods (they are thus entomopathogenic fungi) a few are parasitic on other fungi. Some species of the fungus viz. C. wuyishanensis and C. maolanoides were obtained from nymphs of cicada and dung beetle pupa, respectively. C. maolanensis infects Coleopteran larvae. Several species of Cordyceps are considered to be medicinal mushrooms in classical Asian pharmacology, such as that of traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicines. Studies on C. sinensis indicate that the fungus may improve liver function, reduce cholesterol, adjust protein metabolism, inhibit lung carcinoma and treat aging disorders. Coconut root grub (Leucopholis coneophora Burm) is a serious pest of coconut found in sandy loam tracts of Kerala and Karnataka. This polyphagous pest damages the roots of coconut palms and other crops. Since, it is a soil inhabiting pest, chemical control is not advisable and hence search for a promising bio-control agent is a thrust in this field. Natural incidence of Cordyceps (DMRO-526) has been found on coconut root grub. Studies on artificial cultivation and inoculation of the fungus will help to develop potential entomopathogenic fungi for controlling coconut root grub and also we can use the grub for growing these medicinal fungi.

 

Keywords : Eco-friendly, Biological control, Cordyceps species, Root grub, Medicinal properties, Integrated pest management

 

 

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