A review on the use of entomopathogenic fungi in the management of insect pests of field crops
Maina UM, IB Galadima, FM Gambo and D Zakaria
Insect pest management has been dominated by the use of synthetic pesticides since its discovery. This has continued for decades until the publication of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent spring’ in 1962, which awaken the world on dangers pose by the synthetic chemicals. Since then, the search for alternative pest control products, which is safe and effective, has been prioritized. This review was aimed at bringing to the fore the entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) commercially available and the prospect of using them as an alternative to synthetic chemicals. It was reported that, more than 171 mycoinseticides have been produced with at least 12 species from the over 800 fungi species identified as pathogenic to insects. Most of these products were developed based on Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae and Isaria fumosoroseus propagules. They are currently available in countries of North and South America, Europe and Asia, with few in Africa and Middle East. Mycoinsecticdes have been found effective in controlling insect pests of economic importance in agriculture; however, the successful marketing and utilization of these products have been rather slow, largely due to; high cost, low production efficiency, low performance under challenging environmental conditions and lack of awareness, however, mycoinsectide is gradually becoming popular. Therefore, mycoinsecticides have the potentials to play a key role in integrated pest management (IPM) programme for effective and relatively safe insect pest management in field crops. To achieve this, vigorous research measures needs to be taken to improve on; their performance under challenging environmental conditions, the formulations that will increase persistence, longer shelf life and ease of application, pathogen virulence and spectrum of action.