Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

The Virtual Conference is located at

Abstract Detail


Barrett, Hosanna [1], Lovett, Brian [1], Kasson, Matt [1].

Conoideocrella luteorostrata, a recently discovered entomopathogen and potential biocontrol of elongate hemlock scale in the eastern United States.

Elongate hemlock scale, or Fiorinia externa, is an invasive scale insect that infests needles of hemlock, spruce, and fir. Infestation can cause needle yellowing and needle drop, and weakens the trees. These scales are currently managed using chemical pesticides, but those interventions may hurt natural predators and ultimately increase scale populations. The goal of this project is to develop natural fungal pathogens of elongate hemlock scale insects in the eastern U.S. as biocontrol agents. In the Summer of 2020, Fraser fir branches with elongate hemlock scales were collected from North Carolina and Virginia and examined for signs of fungal infection. Fungi infecting the crawlers and endophytic fungi from needles were isolated since a previously identified elongate hemlock scale pathogen, Colletotrichum fioriniae, is also a facultative needle endophyte. The primary fungus infecting scales was molecularly identified as Conoideocrella luteorostrata (Clavicipitaceae, Hypocreales, Ascomycota), which is known to infect elongate hemlock scales in their natural range in Southeast Asia. C. luteorostrata was not cultured from the needle despite repeated attempts, which suggests that its lifestyle relies on the insect host. EF1-α, LSU and beta-tubulin sequences from C. luteorostrata strains collected from different sites were identical, suggesting that the U.S. population is clonal and may reflect a single introduction. We intend to further investigate the diversity of this population in the United States through additional surveys as well as mating-type sequencing and associated bioassays. This fungus also infects whiteflies, which are more experimentally tractable, so we intend to further characterize the infection process in greenhouse whiteflies, or Trialeurodes vaporariorum. C. luteorostrata may provide a biocontrol option in multiple agricultural industries: one day growers may be behind epizootics of this fungus.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - West Virginia University

entomopathogenic fungi

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: MYP3, Mycology Posters III
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: MYP3014
Abstract ID:888
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Poster Presentation Award by an Undergraduate Student

Copyright © 2000-2021, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved