A model bioassay was used to evaluate the epizootic potential and determine the horizontal transmission efficiency of Isaria fumosorosea Trinidadian strains against Trialeurodes vaporariorum pharate adults under optimum conditions (25±0.5°C, ~100% RH) at two different photoperiods. Untreated pharate adults were arranged on laminated graph paper at different distributions to simulate varying infestation levels on a leaf surface. Four potential hosts were located 7, 14 and 21 mm away from a central sporulating cadaver simulating high, medium and low infestation levels, respectively. Percent hosts colonized were recorded 7, 12, 14 and 21 days post-treatment during a 16- and 24-h photophase. After 21 days, mean percent hosts colonized at the highest, middle and lowest infestation levels were 93 and 100%, 22 and 58%, 25 and 39% under a 16- and 24-h photophase, respectively. From the results, it was concluded that the longer the photophase, the greater the percentage of hosts colonized, and as host distance increased from the central sporulating cadaver, colonization decreased. The use of this novel model bioassay technique is the first attempt to evaluate the epizootic potential and determine the horizontal transmission efficiency of I. fumosorosea Trinidadian strains under optimal environmental conditions at different photoperiods. This bioassay can be used to assess horizontal transmission efficiency for the selection of fungi being considered for commercial biopesticide development
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