Solid-state fermentation of Bacillus thuringiensis tolworthi to control fall armyworm in maize
de Oliveira Moraes
FAPESP, CNPMA/BR and CNPMS/BR.
The well-known entomopathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces a spore-crystal complex which is responsible for its biocide characteristic, and the bacterium can be obtained by fermentation, either in liquid or semi-solid substrates. This paper presents a successful way to achieve solid-state fermentation of active Bt var. tolworthi (Btt) against Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm) in corn. More than 109 CFU/g were obtained using humidified rice as substrate maintained in polypropylene bags. This active complex (substrate plus spore-crystal of Bt) was prepared in order to obtain 2 x 106 spores/mL; the final suspension then sprayed via tractor on corn fields. On the treated plants, mortality of neonate larvae was 100% within two days of spraying, and all larvae were found dead on leaves. During one maize crop cycle, two applications were made, and up until 70 days after emergence it was not necessary to apply any other insecticide for fall armyworm control.
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