Fungus Among Us!. by Madisyn 7 th Grade Science Project March 24, 2011. Question. My Question is “ Can an entomopathogenic Fungus Control Insect Pests?”. Hypothesis. My hypothesis Is “I think the fungus will control insect pests.”. Variables. Constants Same temperature
7th Grade Science Project
March 24, 2011
My Question is
“ Can an entomopathogenic
Is “I think the
The independent variable
in my experiment is the
treatment with the
variable in my
12. Placed the treated larvae on the three pans of plants. Three replications of treated larvae.
The insects treated with Beauveriabassianaall died after six days while the untreated insects stayed alive throughout the entire experiment. Plants fed on by untreated larvae all died while the plants fed on by treated larvae had a little damage but they still lived and thrived throughout the experiment.
My question is “ Can a fungus control insect pests?” My hypothesis is I think a fungus can control insect pests. I thought this would be my answer because a fungus that naturally occurs in the soil already works on insects, so if you did this in an experiment it would work just the same with any kind of insect or plant. I accept my hypothesis because the fungus did kill the insects that were treated with it and therefore allowed the plants to grow uninterrupted.
Beauveriabassiana is a naturally occurring fungus in soils throughout the world. Beauveria is a fungus which causes a disease known as the white muscadine disease in insects. When spores of this fungus come in contact with the skin of leaf feeding insects, they grow inside the insect and eventually kill it. Beauveria covers the insect body with a layer of white mold, hence the name white muscadine disease.
Heliothisvirescensis an insect pest of soybeans, cotton, tobacco, and numerous vegetables and occurs mostly in the Southern U.S. and the Caribbean. It feeds on the leaves of plants and can destroy entire crops if not kept under control. Heliothis feeds constantly in the larval or worm stage on leaves of cotton, tobacco, and vegetables which makes it a good insect to be controlled with Beauveria.
I believe that my results were accurate. I believe this because I wrote down what happened to my plants everyday. I would write down how many of the treated insects had died that day, how many leaves the treated and untreated insects ate that day. I also recorded the height of the plants when they were still growing, that was before I put the insects on the plants. I would take pictures of all the plants with and without the insects. I made sure that they all had the right amount of water and light.
If I were to repeat this experiment I would take this fungus which is a biological pesticide and compare it to a chemical pesticide. This chemical pesticide would probably kill the insects, but would also do harm to the environment as well as humans. So therefore I would want to see if the fungus kills the insects as well as the chemical might. I would like to be able to recommend to farmers the biological pesticide rather than the chemical pesticide which is harmful to the environment.
In summary, I can conclude that a biological pesticide (Beauveriabassiana) can control insect pests. My data can prove that my hypothesis is correct. When the insects (Heliothisvirescens, the cotton bollworm) in my experiment were treated with this entomopathogenic fungus they ate the plants for a few days, but were killed after six days and the plants could recover from the feeding and grow well. The cotton bollworms that were not treated continued to feed and at the end of 12 days killed all the plants, none of the insects died.