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The gram-positive bacterium Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides shows insecticidal activity against drosophilid and aphid pests

: Hiebert, N.; Kessel, T.; Skaljac, M.; Spohn, M.; Vilcinskas, A.; Lee, K.-Z.

Volltext ()

Insects 11 (2020), Nr.8, Art. 471, 15 S.
ISSN: 2075-4450
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IME ()

Insect pests reduce global crop yields by up to 20%, but the most effective control measures are currently based on environmentally hazardous chemical pesticides. An alternative, ecologically beneficial pest-management strategy involves the use of microbial pathogens (or active compounds and extracts derived from them) that naturally target selected insect pests. A novel strain of the bacterium Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides showed promising activity in our preliminary tests. Here, we investigated its effects in more detail, focusing on drosophilid and aphid pests by testing the survival of two species representing the family Drosophilidae (Drosophila suzukii and D. melanogaster) and one representing the family Aphididae (Acyrthosiphon pisum). We used oral and septic infection models to administer living bacteria or cell-free extracts to adult flies and aphid nymphs. We found that infection with living bacteria significantly reduced the survival of our insect models, whereas the administration of cell-free extracts had a significant effect only in aphids. These results confirm that L. pseudomesenteroides has potential as a new biocontrol agent for sustainable pest management.