Exploiting entomopathogen co-infections for biological control: current status and future directions

Hesketh, Helen; Pell, Judith K.; Hails, Rosemary S.. 2013 Exploiting entomopathogen co-infections for biological control: current status and future directions. [Lecture] In: 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology, Pittsburgh, Pa., 11-15 Aug 2013. (Unpublished)

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Insects are susceptible to infection by many pathogen species and mixed/concurrent infections are likely to be common in nature. The outcomes of interactions between co-infecting pathogens are highly complex, ranging from independent to synergistic or antagonistic. One approach to improve biological control is to exploit the additive and synergistic interactions between pathogens and/or their toxins. For example, this may be through co-application of microbial products or seasonal use of functionally diverse groups of entomopathogens to control complexes of pests. For this to be successful we need to understand 1) the factors that influence positive (additive and synergistic) interactions between entomopathogenic micro-organisms and their hosts, 2) the mechanisms that may be sustaining these interactions and 3) how such interactions impact on the ecology of both the host insects and the infecting entomopathogens. Here, we review recent empirical evidence of interactions between entomopathogenic micro-organisms and nematodes specifically in lepidopteran and coleopteran larvae (both pest and non-pest species). We explore opportunities to exploit positive interactions to improve the efficacy of entomopathogens through increased host mortality and the extent of the evidence in the literature for this. In looking forward, we identify where research may be directed at knowledge gaps in understanding the mechanisms behind co-infection interactions. We also highlight the need for new methods of analysis to describe complex response patterns that incorporate dose-level or dose-ratio dependent interactions and present an example from mixture dose-response analysis of a Bacillus thuringiensis-nucleopolyhedrovirus interaction. This review will aid in further exploitation of entomopathogens for biological control.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Lecture)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Reynard
Directors, SCs
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 20 Aug 2013 12:49 +0 (UTC)

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