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Preventing the destruction of Eucalyptus forest plantations: a naturally occurring pathogenic fungus for controlling the Eucalyptus snout beetle.

Scientists have found naturally occurring pathogenic fungi infecting the Eucalyptus snout beetle in eucalyptus forest plantations, and have characterised them to develop a biopesticide to manage the beetle.

, or eucalyptus snout beetle, has a significant impact on eucalyptus forest plantations worldwide, and is usually controlled by means of microwash spp., although control rates are rarely financially viable. Action takes place. This led a team of scientists to search out a naturally occurring pathogenic fungus to combat the Eucalyptus Snout Beetle problem.

Worldwide, eucalyptus forests cover greater than 20 million hectares. In the Iberian Peninsula, the Eucalyptus snout beetle could cause degradation levels of 100% and might damage as much as 86% of wood volume. Although Eucalyptus wood is very important for the production of paper pulp, biological control of the Eucalyptus snout beetle shouldn't be complete, and in some cases chemical control can also be required.

The identification of fungal pathogens for Eucalyptus snout beetle shouldn't be recent. What is remarkable concerning the recent study is that the scientists collected the fungus from naturally infected beetles in the present distribution area in Colombia, so the fungus can be well adapted to the environmental conditions that forest plantations have. I'm promising for beetle control.

To be sure that the recovered fungi are suitable for producing biopesticides, scientists have characterised them when it comes to insecticidal activity, UV-B radiation tolerance and other parameters. This feature ensures that the fungi are suitable for mass production of biopesticide and are proof against environmental conditions when utilized in forest plantations. And probably the most dangerous were fungi. was probably the most adaptable and tolerant to environmental conditions for making biological pesticides.

The fungus could be used to provide biopesticides after trials in eucalyptus forests. Later, the fungus could be utilized in other countries where the pest is causing severe damage.

This work was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Colombia, through the Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria — AGROSAVIA, as a part of the “Strategy for the Planning and Management of Forest Parks and Agro-ecosystems in Colombia”. . Scientists are searching for recent funding to run tests under field conditions.