Canadian Forest Service Publications

The complex symbiotic relationships of bark beetles with microorganisms: a potential practical approach for biological control in forestry. 2012. Popa, V.; Déziel, E.; Lavallée, R.; Bauce, E.; Guertin, C. Pest Manag. Sci. 68:963-975.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34294

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1002/ps.3307

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Bark beetles, especially Dendroctonus species, are considered to be serious pests of the coniferous forests in North America. Bark beetle forest pests undergo population eruptions, causing regionwide economic losses. In order to save forests, finding new and innovative environmentally friendly approaches in wood-boring insect pestmanagement is more important than ever. Several biological controlmethods have been attempted over time to limit the damage and spreading of bark beetle epidemics. The use of entomopathogenic microorganisms against bark beetle populations is an attractive alternative tool for many biological control programmes in forestry. However, the effectiveness of these biological control agents is strongly affected by environmental factors, as well as by the susceptibility of the insect host. Bark beetle susceptibility to entomopathogens varies greatly between species. According to recent literature, bark beetles are engaged in symbiotic relationships with fungi and bacteria. These types of relationship are very complex and apparently involved in bark beetle defensive mechanisms against pathogens. The latest scientific discoveries in multipartite symbiosis have unravelled unexpected opportunities in bark beetle pest management, which are discussed in this article.