Antiinsectan Effects of Aspergillus Metabolites

  • D. T. Wicklow
  • P. F. Dowd
  • J. B. Gloer
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 69)


Species of Aspergillus have been isolated from living, diseased and dead insects. They colonise discrete nutrient-rich substrates for which insects and fungi may compete (e.g. seeds, fruit, dung, etc.). There are numerous examples of antiinsectan effects attributed to Aspergillus, including symptoms of fungal infection (Madelin, 1963; Charnley, 1984; Moore and Erlandson, 1988), observations of insect response to fungal cultures (Loschiavo and Sinha, 1966; Sinha, 1971; Hill, 1978), moulded grain (Sinha, 1966, van Bronswijk and Sinha, 1971, mould contaminated diets (Wicklow and Dowd, 1989), and toxicity studies with specific fungal secondary metabolites (Wright et. al., 1982; Dowd et al.., 1988; Wicklow, 1988; Dowd, 1992). The antiinsectan effects include growth retardation, reduced pupal and adult size, lower fecundity, loss of fertility, mortality, repellency, and genetic changes. In nature, these entomotoxic fermentation products of Aspergillus may prevent loss of substrate to insects and/or discourage arthropod fungivores (Janzen, 1977; Wicklow, 1988). Experiments to test the suitability of Aspergillus species as food for the grain beetle Ahasverus advena revealed that beetle larvae consumed the Aspergillus conidial heads of Eurotium (syn. Aspergillus glaucus) but did not eat the ascomata (Hill, 1978). Eurotium ascomata are covered with a felt of sterile aerial hyphae encrusted with yellow, orange, or red granules which, if toxic or unpalatable, could make such fungal structures less attractive to arthropodes.


Kojic Acid Fusaric Acid Aspergillus Parasiticus Dead Insect Aspergillus Ochraceus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. T. Wicklow
    • 1
  • P. F. Dowd
    • 1
  • J. B. Gloer
    • 2
  1. 1.National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research ServiceU.S.D.A.PeoriaUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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