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J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2004 Jun;20(2):171-5.

Effects of algae on the efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis against larval black flies.

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Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, 413 Biological Sciences Building, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Personnel from several black fly control programs have reported that the efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelesis (Bti) is reduced during periods when algal concentrations are high in the waterways. Although the reduction in Bti-induced mortality in black fly larvae is presumed to be related to the presence of algae, no scientific data support this theory. In this study, 4 genera of algae (Microcytis, Scenedesmus, Dictrosphaerium, and Chlorella) commonly detected in Pennsylvania rivers where Bti-induced mortality in black fly larvae has been reduced were assessed to determine their respective effects on Bti-induced mortality by using an orbital shaker bioassay with laboratory-reared black fly larvae (Simulium vittatum cytospecies IS-7). A significant reduction in Bti-induced mortality was observed when Scenedesmus was present in the flasks at concentrations > or = 16,000 cells/ml. The Bti-induced mortality of larvae was not significantly reduced when Chlorella, Dictyosphaerium, or Microcytis was present in the flasks, even at concentrations > or = 250,000 cells/ml. These results indicate that the presence of certain types of algae can reduce the mortality of black flies exposed to Bti. Although not clearly defined, the mechanisms involved may be related to algal morphology due to overall size and structures associated with certain types of algae, and possible interference with feeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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