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Novel Technique for Quantifying Adhesion of Metarhizium anisopliae Conidia to the Tick Cuticle▿

By Dana Ment, Galina Gindin, Asael Rot, Victoria Soroker, Itamar Glazer, Shimon Barel and Michael Samish


The present study describes an accurate quantitative method for quantifying the adherence of conidia to the arthropod cuticle and the dynamics of conidial germination on the host. The method was developed using conidia of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae (Metschn.) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) and engorged Rhipicephalus annulatus (Say) (Arachnida: Ixodidae) females and was also verified for M. anisopliae var. acridum Driver et Milner (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) and Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) larvae. This novel method is based on using an organic solvent (dichloromethane [DCM]) to remove the adhered conidia from the tick cuticle, suspending the conidia in a detergent solution, and then counting them using a hemocytometer. To confirm the efficacy of the method, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe the conidial adherence to and removal from the tick cuticle. As the concentration of conidia in the suspension increased, there were correlating increases in both the number of conidia adhering to engorged female R. annulatus and tick mortality. However, no correlation was observed between a tick's susceptibility to fungal infection and the amount of adhered conidia. These findings support the commonly accepted understanding of the nature of the adhesion process. The mechanism enabling the removal of the adhered conidia from the host cuticle is discussed

Topics: Methods
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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