Paecilomyces fumosoroseus – Biocontrol Agent


Paecilomyces fumosoroseus: A Fungus Friend to Plants


Paecilomyces fumosoroseus (sometimes referred to as Lecanicillium lecanii) is a beneficial fungus that acts as a natural enemy to various insect pests that trouble plants. It’s a filamentous fungus, meaning it grows in thread-like structures.

Benefits for Plants:

This fungus offers a two-pronged attack on plant pests:

  • Predation: P. fumosoroseus actively hunts and captures soft-bodied insects like whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, and thrips. It traps them using sticky spores and then colonizes their bodies, ultimately consuming them as a food source.

  • Parasitic Infection: The fungus can also infect some insect pests with spores. These spores germinate inside the insect’s body, eventually killing it from the inside out.

By controlling these harmful insects, P. fumosoroseus protects plants from damage caused by:

  • Direct feeding by the pests, which can stunt growth and reduce yields.
  • Spreading of plant diseases that some insects transmit.

Usage Details:

P. fumosoroseus is gaining traction as a biocontrol agent, offering a more sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides. Here’s how it’s typically used:

  • Application Methods: There are several ways to introduce P. fumosoroseus to your garden or crops:

    • Spore Sprays: Commercially available formulations consist of spores suspended in a liquid carrier. These are sprayed directly onto plant foliage, where the spores can come into contact with insect pests.
    • Soil Drench: In some cases, applying a spore drench to the soil around plants can target soil-dwelling insects.
    • Biofumigation: This method involves releasing the fungus spores into a greenhouse or confined space to target airborne insect pests.
  • Ideal Conditions: P. fumosoroseus thrives in warm, humid environments. However, excessive moisture can hinder its effectiveness.

  • Integration with IPM: It’s most effective when used as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy that combines various control methods like cultural practices and other beneficial organisms.




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