Entomophthoralean and hypocrealean fungal pathogens of the sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari (Hemiptera: Aphididae), on sorghum in Georgia.

Castrillo LA, Harris-Shultz K

Published: 11 April 2024 in Journal of invertebrate pathology
Keywords: Akanthomyces dipterigenus, Entomopathogenic fungus, Entomophthorales, Hypocreales, Invasive pest, Neoconidiobolus thromboides
Pubmed ID: 38614292
DOI: 10.1016/j.jip.2024.108107

The sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari, is a widely distributed insect that attacks grasses in different genera including Miscanthus, Saccharum, and Sorghum. The invasive aphid superclone was first discovered in the U.S. attacking grain sorghum in Texas in 2013. Since then, it has been found in at least 25 states including Georgia. We conducted a survey of naturally occurring fungal pathogens of sugarcane aphids on five farms in Georgia, and identified a hypocrealean fungus, Akanthomyces dipterigenus, and two entomophthoralean fungi, Neoconidiobolus spp. From 2018 to 2020, fungal activity differed across farms but at one farm both major fungal species, A. dipterigenus and N. thromboides, were found each of the 3 years infecting sugarcane aphids, attacking adults, both alatae and apterae, and nymphs.