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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 838145, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/838145
Research Article

The Occurrence of Two Species of Entomophthorales (Entomophthoromycota), Pathogens of Sitobion avenae and Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae), in Tunisia

1Plant Protection Laboratory of National Institute of Agricultural Research of Tunisia, Rue Hédi Karray, 2049 Ariana, Tunisia
2National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia, University of Carthage, 43, Avenue Charles Nicolle, 1082 Cité Mahrajène, Tunisia
3Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Received 1 March 2013; Revised 22 April 2013; Accepted 28 May 2013

Academic Editor: Ameur Cherif

Copyright © 2013 Ibtissem Ben Fekih et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The natural occurrence of entomophthoralean fungi pathogenic towards aphids on cereal and potato crops was investigated in the years 2009, 2010, and 2011. Infected aphids were sampled in three bioclimatic zones in Tunisia (Beja, Cap bon, and Kairouan) and fungal species were determined based on morphological characters such as shape, size, and number of nuclei in the primary conidia. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) on the internal transcribed spacer 1 region (ITS1) was used to verify morphological determination. Both methods gave consistent results and we documented for the first time the natural occurrence of two fungal species from the order Entomophthorales (phylum Entomophthoromycota), Pandora neoaphidis and Entomophthora planchoniana. Both fungi were recorded on the aphid species Sitobion avenae and Myzus persicae on barley ears and potato leaves, respectively. Moreover, natural mixed infections by both species (P. neoaphidis and E. planchoniana) were documented on the target aphids. This investigation provides basic information of entomopathogenic fungi infecting economically important aphids in Tunisia.