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Whitefly can transmit many plant viruses to vulnerable vegetable crops such as cabbage, white potato, and chayote. It has been reported to develop resistance to a wide range of insecticides. This study was conducted to isolate entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) from insect cadavers, identify and characterize theisolated EPF through cultural and morphological characterizations and conduct a preliminary pathogenicity test of at least one of the identified EPF on whitefly. Samples of EPF from the BSU Pomology were initially identified and characterized as Aschersonia placenta, Aschersonia goldiana, and Hypocrella epiphylla. A. placenta was selected for pathogenicity test to evaluate against whitefly (B. tabaci). Three trials were conducted using conidial concentrations of 1x106, 1x107, 1x108, and 1x109 conidia/ml. The assessed efficacy rate of A. placenta on B. tabaci indicated that 1x109 conidia/ml gave the highest mortality rate of 7.6% at 7 days and 11.2% at 14 days post-inoculation. The observed highest mortality rate was 11.2% which is less than the standard efficacy rate. However, the capability of A. placenta to infect nymphs of B. tabaci indicates its potential as a biological control agent against whitefly. Further assessment using field trial to confirm the results, and experiments on the other identified Aschersonia species, and the use of supplements for mass production are recommended.
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