July 2016 was an exciting month for Biology Professor Alida Janmaat and Biology Student Chris Hinz. They attended the 49th Annual meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology held in Tours, Loire Valley, France.
Chris presented their poster:
Does Agriotes obscurus avoid the fungal entomopathogen, Metarhizium brunneum?
ABSTRACT: Fungal entomopathogens can greatly reduce the fitness of their hosts, and it is therefore expected that susceptible insects will be selected to avoid exposure to pathogens. Metarhizium brunneum is a fungal pathogen that can infect Agriotes obscurus (Coleoptera: Elateridae), which in its larval form is a destructive agricultural pest. Assays conducted to determine the infective distance from mycosed cadavers demonstrated that beetles require direct contact with mycosed cadavers, or with soil that contacted mycosed cadavers. The ability of beetles to avoid direct contact with infective mycosed cadavers was examined using behavioural assays.