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Identification of novel aphid-killing bacteria to protect plants

Microbial Technology apr22Deepa Paliwal, Amanda H Hamilton, Glyn A Barrett, Fabrzio Alberti, Helmut van Emden, Caroline L Monteil, Tim H Mauchine, Ralf Nauen, Carol Wagstaff, Chris Bass, Robert W Jackson

Aphids, including the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae, are major insect pests of agriculture and horticulture, and aphid control measures are limited. Recent studies have shown that environmental microbes have varying abilities to kill insects. We screened a range of environmental bacteria isolates for their abilities to kill target aphid species. Tests demonstrated the killing aptitude of these bacteria against six aphid genera (including Myzus persicae). No single bacterial strain was identified that was consistently toxic to insecticide-resistant aphid clones than susceptible clones, suggesting resistance to chemicals is not strongly correlated with bacterial challenge. Our findings provide new insights into aphid susceptibility to bacterial infection with the aim of utilizing bacteria as effective biocontrol agents.

Microbial Biotechnology. April 2022