Whether the addition of neem oil increases the bioefficacy of entomopathogenic fungi against sucking pests? A case study from eggplant ecosystem

Abstract :

Eggplant, Solanum melongena Linn., is one of the most popular conventional vegetable in India. In the present context of environmental change, the infestations of sucking insect pests especially whitefly, Bemisia tabaci and jassid, Amrasca biguttula biguttula occurred thorough out the crop growth period in the region. Various entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) viz., Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassiana and Lecanicillium lecanii were evaluated individually and their 1:1 mixtures with botanicals like neem seed oil against these nefarious sucking insects pests and juxtaposing to commonly used chemical insecticide Imidacloprid 17.8% SL as check treatment under open field conditions during 2020 and 2021. Amongst the three EPF tested, minimum jassids (1.77, 2.33 leaf-1) and whiteflies (1.41, 1.63 leaf-1) population were observed in experimental plots sprayed with L. lecanii during both the years. Half of the approved doses of L. lecanii and neem seed oil combination registered the lowest jassids and whiteflies population along with highest reduction over control which was at par with Imidacloprid 17.8 SL. Furthermore, all these microbial insecticides and their blending with neem seed oil were noted relatively safe to the associated predators (Menochilus sexmaculates, Coccinella septempunctata, Micraspis discolor, and spiders) and similar with untreated control. In paradox, Imidacloprid 17.8 SL was established as the toxic most amongst the treatments having the least numbers of predatory fauna in eggplant ecosystem. Blending of half of the recommended doses of popular EPF viz., B. bassiana, M. anisopliae and L. lecanii with botanicals like neem seed oil may be a feasible ecofriendly avenue in managing the sap suckers of eggplant, accompanied with upkeep of associated predators.

Keyword :

Entomopathogenic fungi, neem oil, eggplant, jassids, whiteflies, predators, efficacy

Author(s) : Halder, J., Majumder, S., Pandey, K. K.
Downloads : 13
Published Issue : 2023 Vol. 18 Number 1

2023 Vol. 18 Number 1