In the present study, the occurrence and diversity of fungi associated with beetles and white grub, Brahmina coriacea (Hope) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in potato fields of North Western Indian hills was explored for the first time. Sixteen species belonging to 9 genera and two non-sporulating fungi were isolated and identified from white grub cadavers, adult beetles and soil samples in question. Total 1404 out of 14164 (9.91%) beetles were found infected with fungi during year 2007-09 at studied areas. Most abundantly occurring fungi associated with beetles were Metarhizium anisopliae, 423 out of 1404 (30.12%); followed by Aspergillus flavus, 322 (23.0%); Fusarium oxysporum, 262 (18.66%); Beauveria bassiana, 143 (10.2%); Aspergillus clavatus, 130 (9.25%) and Fusarium solani, 120 (8.6%). Whereas, 21 out of 1351 (1.6%) white grubs were found infected with fungi. A. clavatus showed high frequency of infection to grubs (33.8%), followed by A. flavus, (23.8%) and Rhizopus oryzae, (19.04%). Each Aspergillus nigerand Alternaria alternata showed an infection frequency of 9.53% while 4.8% was noticed for Penicillium griseofulvum. Total ten fungi were identified from soil samples with high frequency of R. oryzae (27.60%) and Cunninghamella elegans (24.13%). Preliminary pathogenicity tests were performed on late first instar grubs for all isolated fungi except non-sporulating. B. bassiana was found highly pathogenic with 63.70% mortalities followed by 60.37% by A. flavus and 50.00% by M. anisopliae after 15 days of treatment. F. oxysporum and F. solani showed mortalities up to 49.63 and 42.59%, respectively.
Anupam Sharma, V.K. Chandla and D.R. Thakur, 2012. Biodiversity and Pathogenicity Potential of Mycoflora Associated with Brahmina coriacea in Potato Fields of North-Western Indian Hills. Journal of Entomology, 9: 319-331.