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Metarhizium spp. are being used as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides, as model systems for studying insect-fungus interactions, and as a resource of genes for biotechnology. We present a comparative analysis of the genome sequences of the broad-spectrum insect pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae and the acridid-specific M. acridum.(More)
The low survival of microbial pest control agents exposed to UV is the major environmental factor limiting their effectiveness. Using gene disruption we demonstrated that the insect pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii uses photolyases to remove UV-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) and pyrimidine (6-4) photoproducts [(6-4)PPs] from its DNA.(More)
An enduring theme in pathogenic microbiology is poor understanding of the mechanisms of host specificity. Metarhizium is a cosmopolitan genus of invertebrate pathogens that contains generalist species with broad host ranges such as M. robertsii (formerly known as M. anisopliae var. anisopliae) as well as specialists such as the acridid-specific grasshopper(More)
Temperature extremes are an important adverse factor limiting the effectiveness of microbial pest control agents. They reduce virulence and persistence in the plant root-colonizing insect pathogen Metarhizium robertsii. Small heat shock proteins have been shown to confer thermotolerance in many organisms. In this study, we report on the cloning and(More)
Metarhizium robertsii is a plant root colonizing fungus that is also an insect pathogen. Its entomopathogenicity is a characteristic that was acquired during evolution from a plant endophyte ancestor. This transition provides a novel perspective on how new functional mechanisms important for host switching and virulence have evolved. From a random T-DNA(More)
As well as killing pest insects, the rhizosphere competent insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii also boosts plant growth by providing nitrogenous nutrients and increasing resistance to plant pathogens. Plant roots secrete abundant nutrients but little is known about their utilization by Metarhizium spp. and the mechanistic basis of(More)
Fungal pathogens of plants and insects infect their hosts by direct penetration of the cuticle. Plant and insect cuticles are covered by a hydrocarbon-rich waxy outer layer that represents the first barrier against infection. However, the fungal genes that underlie insect waxy layer degradation have received little attention. Here we characterize the single(More)
Locusts are infamous for their ability to aggregate into gregarious migratory swarms that pose a major threat to food security. Aggregation is elicited by an interplay of visual, tactile, and chemical stimuli, but the aggregation pheromone in feces is particularly important. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Paranosema (Nosema) locustae is known to(More)
Metarhizium species have recently been found to be plant rhizosphere associates as well as insect pathogens. Because of their abundance, rhizospheric Metarhizium could have enormous environmental impact, with co-evolutionary implications. Here, we tested the hypothesis that some Metarhizium spp. are multifactorial plant growth promoters. In two consecutive(More)