Just as people are affected by disease-causing microbes like viruses and bacteria, so are insects infected by their own host of diseases. Some disease organisms are very specific to certain insect species, while others are able to infect and kill a wide range of insects. Most of the pests that damage potatoes are susceptible to one or more fatal diseases that occur in the environment and can become established in potato fields.
[All photos and graphics thanks to Dr. Lerry Lacey.]
PTM Granulovirus (POGV)
PoGV occlusion bodies
PoGV Infection Process
Infected fat body stains red
Gross pathology - PoGV infected larva top
Small Scale Production of PTW Granulovirus
Hanging posture and fragile integument of virus-infected larvae aid in the dissemination of the occlusion bodies into the environment. Some viruses induce climbing.
Example of a colorado potato beetle infected with the fungus, Beauveria bassiana.
Example of green peach aphid infected with the fungus, Lecanicillium lecanii.