Akanthomyces muscarius (entomopathogen)

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Akanthomyces muscarius (Petch) Spatafora, Kepler & B. Shrestha 2017 (insect pathogen)

This fungus is an important biocontrol agent against insect pests and is produced commercially (often under the old name Lecanicillium muscarium). It has a wide host range and is, for example, used against aphids and whiteflies. Apart from aphids and whiteflies, it infects mainly scale insects, mealybugs and other soft-bodied Sternorrhyncha. The species is also a mycoparasite of certain fungi, see Akanthomyces muscarius (antagonist).

A. muscarius is closely related to Akanthomyces lecanii and both species can only be distinguished by their DNA structure. When Zare & Gams (2001) established Lecanicillium muscarium and the genus Lecanicillium, separating it from the plant pathogenic genus Verticillium, they suggested that many strains previously identified as Verticillium lecanii actually belonged to the species muscarium.

Lecanicillium muscarium