Spodoptera frugiperda is a widely distributed insect pest that causes major economic losses in various crops, particularly maize. On the other hand, Beauveria bassiana is an entomopathogenic fungus that establishes symbiotic associations with many plants and contributes to tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses. In the present work, under field conditions, 1x106 (first trial) and 1x10⁸ (second trial) of B. bassiana (GHA strain) blastospores were used for corn’s seed inoculation. In the first field trial, a higher number of larvae were present in the negative control plants in comparison with those in B. bassiana-treated plants. No larvae were found in negative control and B. bassiana-treated plants in the second field trial. In further laboratory experiments, the effects of the B. bassiana strains GHA, in addition to a native strain (PTG4) also delivered via seed treatment in maize seedlings, on S. frugiperda growth, development, and mortality were evaluated. 1x10⁶ B. bassiana blastospores were used to inoculate maize seeds, which were germinated and grown to seedlings under growth chamber conditions. Third-instar S. frugiperda larvae were allowed to feed on B. bassiana-treated and -untreated (negative control) seedlings until reaching 6th instar and transferred to artificial diet until reaching adult stage. Results showed that larvae feeding on B. bassiana strain PTG4 prolonged their larval stage. Furthermore, feeding with plants treated with B. bassiana strains yielded fewer S. frugiperda male moths and the female moths emerged with altered wings, compared with the untreated control. In conclusion, seed treatment with B. bassiana in maize reduced S. frugiperda infestation of maize plants in field trials. Besides S. frugiperda development was affected in laboratory trials.
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