Characterization of Paecilomycescinnamomeus from the camellia whitefly, Aleurocanthus camelliae (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), infesting tea in Japan.
The whitefly, Aleurocanthus camelliae Kanmiya and Kasai (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), is an invasive species in Japan that was first discovered in 2004 on tea in Kyoto. Soon after its arrival epizootics of an entomopathogenic fungus were observed in populations of the whitefly in many tea-growing regions. Here we identify this fungus as Paecilomyces cinnamomeus (Petch) Samson and W. Gams (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) based on morphological characteristics and molecular analyses. This is the first record of P. cinnamomeus in Japan and also the first time it has been recorded from the genus Aleurocanthus. A isolate of P. cinnamomeus caused greater than 50% and 90% infection in whitefly nymphs at 1×106 and 1×107 conidia/ml respectively, while the commercial mycoinsecticides Preferd® (Isaria fumosorosea) and Mycotal® (Lecanicillium muscarium) caused <10% infection at their recommended field rates (5×106 and 9×106 conidia/ml, respectively), suggesting that P. cinnamomeus may be more useful as a control agent than the currently available mycoinsecticides. Optimum and upper limit temperatures for in vitro growth of P. cinnamomeus isolates were 22.5-25°C and 32.5°C, respectively. At field rates, the fungicide thiophanate-methyl caused some inhibition of in vitro growth of P. cinnamomeus isolates, and the bactericide copper oxychloride and the insecticides tolfenpyrad and methidathion were strongly inhibitory. The findings obtained in this study will be useful in the development of microbial control programs using P. cinnamomeus against A. camelliae.