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Title: Insect bioelectrostatics and autodissemination of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) for the biological control of the house-fly (Musca domestica L.)
Author: McGonigle, Daniel Frederick
ISNI:       0000 0001 3624 3467
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2002
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The effect of surface material on the electrostatic charge of house-flies (Musca domestica) was investigated. It was found that the charge of M. domestica is dependent on the material upon which they walk. Charge is gained through triboelectrification, the exchange of electrons with a surface through contact and friction. Charge level was found to be a function of distance moved though each different surface material elicits a different maximum charge on M. domestica. This maximum charge is reached after approximately 30 cm. Two methods were developed for measuring the electrical charge of insects. The first involved placing individuals into a Faraday pail, which is calibrated to measure the net charge of objects that are contained within. In the second method, individual M. domestica were connected directly to an electrostatic voltmeter. Electrical charge was found to be proportional to the non-contact pick-up of dielectric particles from a surface by an in vitro M. domestica wing. Experiments with live flies indicated that the charge gained from triboelectrification on a surface affects the pick-up of particles. This could have important implications in the choice of construction material for an autoinoculation trap for the dissemination of entomopathogens. The conidiospores of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae were formulated with carnauba wax particles. Carnuaba wax is a strong dielectric and can carry a strong electrostatic charge. Formulation with carnauba wax in a 1:5 ratio was found to conserve conidia in a simulated bait station without significantly affecting mortality. Such formulation also reduces the loss of conidia from inoculated flies to the environment. Because less conidia are lost to the environment, indirect transmission from inoculated flies to the environment to uninfected individuals is reduced, however, this is not seen as an important process in the autodissemination of fungal entomopathogens. Conidia formulated with wax are transmitted horizontally in cage conditions, from fly to fly, but less readily than unformulated conidia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Entomopathogenic fungi