Alternative substrates for conidiogenesis of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Bals) Vuillemin (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes)
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Abstract Beauveria bassiana is a promising fungus for the biological control of insect pests. The growing costs of conidia production have raised the need to ascertain the efficiency of some low cost substrates. The aim of this study was to analyze the potential use of different raw substrates without nutritional supplement for B. bassiana conidiogenesis. Growth and sporulation were evaluated using 30 g of substrate and 0.3 μL of a conidia suspension (1 x 106 conidia/mL). After 10 days of incubation (70 ± 10% humidity and temperature (T) = 29 ± 1 °C), rice (2.00 x 106 conidia/g substrate), algaroba (2.36 x 106 conidia/g), malt A (1.22 x 106 conidia/g) and malt B (1.75 x 106 conidia/g) showed the highest levels of conidia production. The resulting conidia showed insecticidal activity higher than 80% on coconut termites. These new raw substrates may represent viable alternatives for the production of entomopathogenic fungi for use in the biological control of various insect pests.