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Emilia Wloka, M Ligeza-Zuber, A Kaczmarek, M Kazek, A Wronska, M Bogus and W Stefanski
Witold Stefa�?�?ski Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Virol Mycol
Excessive use of pesticides poses a threat to human health, biodiversity and pollutes the environment. An alternative to chemical insecticides might be use of entomopathogenic soil fungus Conidiobolus coronatus which hydrolyzes the hard insect cuticle by means of proteases, chitinases and lipases. However, mechanisms underlying regulation of the virulence of C. coronatus remain obscure. The aim of the study was to verify whether the proteo, chitino and lipolytic activities of mycelia grown in various conditions is correlated with the virulence and cytotoxicity towards Galleria mellonella immunocompetent cells (hemocytes) and cell line Sf9. Fungal cultures were grown on the Sabouraud medium (SAB) enriched with the homogenate of G. mellonella larvae (SAB-GM). Control cultures were propagated on the SAB. It was found that only the young SAB-GM cultures were highly virulent and infect 100% of tested insects, while the SAB cultures retained high virulence for 3 weeks. The decrease in the virulence of SAB-GM cultures is not correlated with the enzyme activities. However a higher cytotoxicity of the SAB-GM cultures comparing with the SAB cultures indicates that the insect body components modulate fungal virulence and cytotoxicity.