The effects of temperature (5-50°C), water availability (0.998-0.88 water activity, aw), and aw × temperature interactions (15-45°C) on growth of three entomogenous fungi, Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Paecilomyces farinosus, were evaluated on a Sabouraud dextrose-based medium modified with the ionic solute KCl, the non-ionic solute glycerol, and an inert solute, polyethylene glycol (PEG) 600. The temperature ranges for growth of B. bassiana, M. anisopliae, and P. farinosus were 5-30, 5-40, and 5-30°C, and optimum growth temperatures were 25, 30, and 20°C, respectively. All three species grew over a similar aw range (0.90-0.998) at optimum temperatures for growth. However, there were significant interspecies variations in growth rates on media modified with each of the three aw-modifying solutes. Growth aw optima ranged between 0.99 and 0.97 on KCl-, glycerol-, and PEG 600-modified media for M. anisopliae and P. farinosus. B. bassiana grew optimally at 0.998 aw, regardless of aw. Comprehensive two-dimensional profiles of aw × temperature relations for growth of these three species were constructed for the first time. The results are discussed in relation to the environmental limits that determine efficacy of entomogenous fungi as biocontrol agents in nature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science