Falchi, Giovanni and Marche, Maria Giovanna and Mura, Maria Elena and Ruiu, Luca (2015) Hydrophobins from aerial conidia of Beauveria bassiana interfere with Ceratitis capitata oviposition behavior. Biological control, Vol. 81 , p. 37-43. ISSN 1049-9644. eISSN 1090-2112. Article.
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A reduction in Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann oviposition rate was observed on fruits treated with commercial formulations containing conidia of Beauveria bassiana. In an attempt to identify the main sources of disturbance for ovipositing flies, this study investigated the possible role of different fungal fractions in relation to C. capitata oviposition behavior on treated fruits.
Orange fruit treatments with different B. bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin preparations caused an oviposition deterrent effect in terms of reduction in the number of female visits/fruit and of oviposition punctures/fruit, in comparison to the untreated control. The most evident effects were observed for conidia-based preparations, while for the other fungal fractions assayed (mycelium and culture supernatants) these effects were moderate or negligible. These effects were concentration-dependent, and a maximum was achieved at the highest tested concentration of conidia (108/ml, 10 ml per fruit).
According to our results, we assumed that the physical and biochemical properties of conidia, in particular the rodlet layers of hydrophobins covering conidia surface, may impair the ability of C. capitata to detect orange-derived stimuli, such as orange odors and fruit humidity content. This hypothesis was supported by the significant decrease in the oviposition deterrent effect observed when fruits were treated with conidia deprived of the rodlet layer in comparison to equivalent suspensions of intact conidia. In addition, a suspension containing rodlet proteins alone at a concentration of 5 mg/ml also determined a significant reduction in the number of fruit visits and of oviposition punctures compared to an untreated control.
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