Fungos Filamentosos Associados às Espécies Atta sexdens (Linnaeus) e Atta laevigata (F. Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Aline Silvestre Pereira Dornelas, Renato de Almeida Sarmento, Gil Rodrigues dos Santos, Mariela Otoni Nascimento, Danival José de Souza

Abstract


Resumo. As formigas-cortadeiras, Atta e Acromyrmex, são consideradas as principais pragas no sistema agroflorestal da Região Neotropical. Isso porque cortam material vegetal que servirá de alimento ao fungo simbionte que elas cultivam.  Diversos fungos, que ocorrem em condições naturais no solo, podem ser encontrados associados às formigas-cortadeiras, muitos deles comprovadamente entomopatogênicos. No entanto, esses agentes não têm sido usados em programa de controle biológico dessas formigas. O objetivo deste estudo foi isolar e identificar fungos filamentosos associados às operárias de Atta sexdens e Atta laevigata e testar sua patogenicidade contra operárias da formiga A. sexdens. Para isolamento dos fungos, foi coletado um total de 180 operárias forrageadoras em seis colônias (30 por colônia), sendo 90 de A. sexdens e 90 de A. laevigata. Dentre os fungos isolados das operárias de A. sexdens,foram identificados Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff) Sorokin, Aspergillus flavus Link, Acremonium sp. 1, Aspergillus sp.1, Colletotrichum sp. e Acremonium sp. 2. Os fungos encontrados em associação com as operárias da A. laevigata foram Mucor sp., Aspergillus flavusFusarium solani (Martius) Saccardo, A. niger van Tieghem. A patogenicidade de três desses fungos (A. flavus, A. niger e M. anisopliae) foi testada em operárias de A. sexdens. Nos testes com A. niger e M. anisopliae, o tempo para causar mortalidade de 50% das operárias foi de cinco dias (TL50 = 5 dias) e, nos dois casos, o TL50 foi significativamente inferior ao tratamento controle. Assim, testes devem prosseguir com esses isolados que apresentam potencial no uso do controle biológico das formigas-cortadeiras.

Filamentous Fungi Associated With Atta sexdens (Linnaeus) and Atta laevigata (F. Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Abstract. Leaf-cutting ants, Atta and Acromyrmex genera, are considered major pests in a neotropical agroforestry system because they cut plant material that will serve as food for the symbiotic fungus cultivated by them. Several fungi naturally occurring in the soil can be found associated with leaf-cutting ants, many of them are demonstrably entomopathogenic. However, these agents have not been used as biological control of leaf-cutting ants. The aim of this study was to isolate and to identify filamentous fungi associated with forage workers of Atta sexdens (Linnaeus) and Atta laevigata (F. Smith) and to test their pathogenicity against workers from laboratory colonies. To isolate filamentous fungi, it was collected a total of 180 forage workers (30 in each colony) in six field colonies, 90 of A. sexdens and 90 workers of A. laevigata. Six fungi species from A. sexdens were isolated and identified: Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff) Sorokin, Aspergillus flavus Link, Acremonium sp. 1, Aspergillus sp. 1, Colletotrichum sp. and Acremonium sp. 2. In A. laevigata, it was found four species: Mucor sp., Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium solani (Martius) Saccardo, Aspergillus niger van Tieghem. Three of these fungi were selected for pathogenicity tests against workers of the leaf-cutting ant A. sexdens: A. flavus, A. niger and M. anisopliae. The LT50 (time to cause 50% mortality of workers) in tests with A. niger and M. anisopliae were five days and significantly lower than the control group. Therefore, further tests should proceed with those isolates to demonstrate their potential use in the biological control of leaf-cutting ants.


Keywords


Aspergillus; Controle biológico; Entomopatógenos; Metarhizium; Simbiose; Biological control; Entomopathogens; Metarhizium; Symbiosis

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12741/ebrasilis.v9i1.528

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