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Mycol Res. 2007 Aug;111(Pt 8):947-66. Epub 2007 Jul 3.

Factors affecting the occurrence and distribution of entomopathogenic fungi in natural and cultivated soils.

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1
Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, ETSIAM, University of Cordoba. Campus de Rabanales. Edificio C4 Celestino Mutis, 14071 Cordoba, Spain. cr2qumoe@uco.es

Abstract

Factors affecting the occurrence and distribution of entomopathogenic fungi in 244 soil samples collected from natural and cultivated areas in Spain were studied using an integrated approach based on univariate and multivariate analyses. Entomopathogenic fungi were isolated from 175 of the 244 (71.7%) soil samples, with only two species found, Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae. Of the 244 soil samples, 104 yielded B. bassiana (42.6%), 18 yielded M. anisopliae (7.3%), and 53 soil samples (21.7%) harboured both fungi. Log-linear models indicated no significant effect of habitat on the occurrence of B. bassiana, but a strong association between M. anisopliae and soils from cultivated habitats, particularly field crops. Also, irrespective of habitat type, B. bassiana predominated over M. anisopliae in soils with a higher clay content, higher pH, and lower organic matter content. Logistic regression analyses showed that pH and clay content were predictive variables for the occurrence of B. bassiana, whereas organic matter content was the predictive variable for M. anisopliae. Also, latitude and longitude predicted the occurrence of these same species, but in opposite directions. Altitude was found to be predictive for the occurrence of B. bassiana. Using principal component analysis, four factors (1 to 4) accounted for 86% of the total variance; 32.8, 22.9, 19.6 and 10.4% of the cumulative variance explained, respectively. Factor 1 was associated with high positive weights for soil clay and silt content and high negative weights for soil sand content. Factor 2 was associated with high positive weights for soil organic matter content and high negative weights for soil pH. Factor 3 was associated with high positive weights for latitude and longitude of the sampled localities and factor 4, had high positive weights only for the altitude. Bi-plot displays representing soil samples were developed for different factor combinations and indicated that, irrespective of geographical location, absence of both fungal species was determined by alkaline sandy soils with low organic matter content, whereas heaviness of soil texture, acidity and increasing organic matter content led to progressively higher percentages of samples harbouring entomopathogenic fungi. These results could aid decision-making as to whether or not a particular cultivated or natural soil is suitable for using entomopathogenic fungi as a pest control measure and for selecting the fungal species best suited to a particular soil.

PMID:
17766099
DOI:
10.1016/j.mycres.2007.06.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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