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Deep space and hidden depths: understanding the evolution and ecology of fungal entomopathogens

Roy, Helen E.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Chandler, Dave; Goettel, Mark S.; Pell, Judith K.; Wajnberg, Eric; Vega, Fernando E.. 2010 Deep space and hidden depths: understanding the evolution and ecology of fungal entomopathogens. BioControl, 55. 1-6. 10.1007/s10526-009-9244-7

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Abstract/Summary

Entomopathogens are important natural enemies of many insect and mite species and as such have been recognised as providing an important ecosystem service. Indeed, fungal entomopathogens have been widely investigated as biological control agents of pest insects in attempts to improve the sustainability of crop protection. However, even though our understanding of the ecology of fungal entomopathogens has vastly increased since the early 1800s, we still require in-depth ecological research that can expand our scientific horizons in a manner that facilitates widespread adoption of these organisms as efficient biological control agents. Fungal entomopathogens have evolved some intricate interactions with arthropods, plants and other microorganisms. The full importance and complexity of these relationships is only just becoming apparent. It is important to shift our thinking from conventional biological control, to an understanding of an as yet unknown “deep space”. The use of molecular techniques and phylogenetic analyses have helped us move in this direction, and have provided important insights on fungal relationships. Nevertheless, new techniques such as the PhyloChip and pyrosequencing might help us see beyond the familiar fields, into areas that could help us forge a new understanding of the ecology of fungal entomopathogens.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s10526-009-9244-7
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment > BD - 2.2 - Quantify the impact of invasive species, pathogens ...
CEH Sections: Pywell
ISSN: 1386-6141
Additional Keywords: ecology, evolution, entomopathogenic fungi, biological control, tri-trophic interactions, modelling, Rhizosphere, endophytes, behavioural ecology, molecular tools
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 17 Jun 2010 12:53
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/9962

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