Molecular Identification of the Entomorpathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae Isolate Released for Biological Control of the Legume Flower Thrips, Megalurothrips sjostedti (Trybom)

S. EKESI and N.K. MANIANIA

The control of insect pests with entomopathogens requires the ability to distinguish released pathogen from locally endemic isolates of the same species. In this study, random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) technique was carried out on Metarhizium anisopilae (Sorok isolate ICIPE 69 (isolated from a soil sample) released for biologist control of Megalurothrips sjostedti (Trybom) on cowpea in Kenya, the recovered isolate and five other isolates from different host and geographic locations. RAPD bands for the recovered isolate, ICIPE 69, was identical to those of the released isolate but different from other five isolates recovered from Maruca vitrata Fab. and Clavigraila spp. collected from the same treated plot and other isolates obtained from the germplasm. This relatively easy, fast and efficient technique has proved useful in identification of entomopathogenic hyphomycete used for thrips control and may also be valuable in modelling epizootiology of the released pathogen.

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