University of California

Fungal pathogen controls thrips in greenhouse flowers


Brook C. Murphy
Tunyalee A. Morisawa
Julie P. Newman
Steve A. Tjosvold
Michael P. Parrella

Authors Affiliations

B.C. Murphy is Postgraduate Researcher, Department of Entomology, UC Davis; T.A. Morisawa is Research Assistant, Department of Entomology, UC Davis; J.P. Newman is Farm Advisor, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties; S.A. Tjosvold is Farm Advisor, Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties; M.P. Parrella is Professor and Chair, Department of Entomology, UC Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 52(3):32-36. DOI:10.3733/ca.v052n03p32. May 1998.

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Western flower thrips cause considerable losses in a wide range of agricultural crops by feeding on leaves and fruit, laying eggs in fruit and transmitting diseases. Repeated pesticide application is currently the only method that reduces populations to acceptable levels. Biological control efforts have focused on using predators and have been largely unsuccessful. However, entomopathogenic fungi could also be used as biological controls for western flower thrips, Laboratory and field trials show that commercial formulations of Beauveria bassiana (GHA strain) can infect and reduce western flower thrips numbers in greenhouse floriculture crops, thus demonstrating its potential as an alternative to conventional pesticides.

Further reading

Gillespie AT, Moorhouse ER, Whipps JM, Lumsden RD. The use of fungi to control pests of agricultural and horticultural importance. Biotechnology of Fungi for Improving Plant Growth.. 1989. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 85-125.

Roberts DW, Hajek AE, Leatham GF. Entomopathogenic fungi as bioinsecticides. Frontiers in Industrial Mycology. 1992. New York: Chapman & Hall. p. 144-59.

Rombach M, Gillespie AT. Entomogenous Hyphomycetes for insect and mite control on greenhouse crops. Biocontrol News and Information. 1988. 9((1)):7-18.

Murphy B, Morisawa T, Newman J, Tjosvold S, Parrella M. 1998. Fungal pathogen controls thrips in greenhouse flowers. Hilgardia 52(3):32-36. DOI:10.3733/ca.v052n03p32
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