Microbial pesticides form critical components of integrated pest management (IPM) practices. Little, however, is known regarding the impacts of these organisms on the indigenous microbial community. We show that Metarhizium anisopliae strain CQMa421 was highly effective in controlling the rice leafroller, Cnaphalocrocis medinalis Guenee. In addition, M. anisopliae distribution and its effects on phyllosphere microbial diversity after application in field trials were investigated. Phylloplane specific distribution of the fungus was observed over time, with more rapid declines of M. anisopliae CFUs (colony-forming units) seen in the top leaf layer as compared to lower layers. Application of the fungus resulted in transient changes in the endogenous microbial diversity with variations seen in the bacterial observed species and Shannon index. Notable increases in both parameters were seen at 6-day post-application of M. anisopliae, although significant variation within sample replicates for bacteria and fungi were noted. Application of M. anisopliae increased the relative distribution of bacterial species implicated in plant growth promotion and organic pollutant degradation, e.g., Methylobacterium, Sphingobium, and Deinococcus. These data show minimal impact of M. anisopliae on endogenous microbial diversity with transient changes in bacterial abundance/diversity that may result in added benefits to crops.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 10, 2017
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