An epizootic has been reported in Fiorinia externa populations in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Infected insects have profuse sclerotial masses enclosing their bodies. The most commonly isolated microorganism from infected F. externa was Colletotrichum sp. A morphological and molecular characterization of this fungus indicated that it is closely related to phytopathogenic C. acutatum isolates. Isolates of Colletotrichum sp. from F. externa in areas of the epizootic were similar genetically and were named Colletotrichum acutatum var. fioriniae var. nov. based on our findings. In vitro and in planta mating observed between isolates of C. acutatum var. fioriniae could serve as a possible source of genetic variation and might give rise to new biotypes with a propensity to infect insects. Only one other strain, C. gloeosporioides f. sp. ortheziidae, has been reported to show entomopathogenic activity.
- Colletotrichum acutatum var. fioriniae
- Fiorinia externa
- Entomopathogenic fungi
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology