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Scientists develop bio-pesticide from fungi to control a beetle and protect Eucalyptus plantations


by University of Eastern Finland
Gonipterus platensis, or the Eucalyptus snout beetle, has a heavy impact on Eucalyptus forest plantations worldwide, and are mostly controlled using the micro wasp Anaphes spp, although control rates rarely become financially viable. This led a team of scientists to look for naturally infecting pathogenic fungi to tackle the Eucalyptus snout beetle problem.

Worldwide, the Eucalyptus forest covers more than 20 million ha. In the Iberian Peninsula, the Eucalyptus snout beetle could cause defoliation levels of 100% and produce wood volume losses of up to 86%. Although Eucalyptus wood is important for paper pulp production, the Eucalyptus snout beetle biocontrol is far from total, and on some occasions chemical control is needed.

The identification of fungi pathogenic to the Eucalyptus snout beetle is not new. What is remarkable in this new rese...

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