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Locust pest control: woman collects funga

Locust pest control: woman collects funga

E779/0071

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Credit

JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Locust pest control. Technician monitors vacuum cleaners sucking up fungal spores of Metarhizium anisopliae, grown during research on the first fungal pesticide to control desert locust swarms. This research is conducted at the International Institute of Biological Control in Berkshire, England, part of the LUBILOSA project. The project is developing sprays of M.anisopliae, a fungus that infects insects and is native to Africa. In the laboratory fungal spores are grown on rice, then mixed in oil droplets, to later be spread with crop-spraying equipment. The fungus infects the desert locust killing it in 2-3 weeks. Locust swarms devastate crops around the world.

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