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Environ Entomol. 2008 Oct;37(5):1264-71.

Pathogenic fungi and parasitoids of aphids present in air captures of migratory alates in the low-latitude plateau of Yunnan, China.

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Institute of Microbiology, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China.


To survey fungal pathogens and parasitoids of aphids in the low-latitude plateau of Yunnan, southwest China, 3,553 migratory alates of Brevicoryne brassicae, Lipaphis erysimi, and Myzus persicae were attracted to a yellow-plus-plant trap from air during a full-year period and individually reared on cabbage leaves for 7-14 d at 18-22 degrees C and L:D 12:12. Among the trapped alates, 19.2% were killed by 10 species of aphid-pathogenic fungi after survival of 2.3 d (range, 1-7 d). Another 2.8% were mummified by the wasps Aphidius gifuensis, Diaeretella rapae, Ephedrus plagiator, and Aphelinus mali after survival of 4.9 d (range, 1-11 d). Most of the mycosed alates (77.8%) died from Entomophthorales predominated by Pandora neoaphidis (42.7%) and Zoophthora radicans (14.5%), followed by P. nouryi, Neozygites fresenii, Conidiobiolus spp., Entomophthora planchoniana, and Z. aphidis in decreasing frequencies. A mitosporic fungus, Lecanicillium lecanii, was found frequently in L. erysimi alates trapped in rainy season. However, B. brassicae alates captured in dry season were infected or parasitized very occasionally. The predeath fecundity of the infected or parasitized alates warranted successful colonization on plants, although greatly reduced, and was well shown by the fitted probability for a given fecundity per capita and the increasing mean size of their progeny colonies. Contagious transmission of the alate-borne mycosis in most of the colonies caused high progeny mortalities within 14 d. The results highlight for the first time the diversity of aphid pathogens and the spread of both pathogens and parasitoids with host dispersal flight in the low-latitude plateau.

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