Hatami, B., Mirlohi, A.F., & Sabzalian, M.R. 2006 The effect of endophytic fungi of tall and meadow fescues on biological control of mealybug (Phenococcus solani Ferris, Hom.: Pseudococcidae).. Journal of Science and Technology of Agriculture and Natural Resources 10(2): 269-277.
Notes: Endophytic fungi, Neotyphodium spp., symbiotically infect host grasses, Fescue arundinacea [Festuca arundinacea] and F. pratensis [Festuca pratensis], and mealybug Phenococcus solani [Phenacoccus solani] attacks some forage plants. To evaluate the role of these fungi to control this pest, four genotypes of F. arundinacea and two genotypes of F. pratensis were used. Plant tillers were split into two sections, one section of which was freed from the endophyte using a fungicide mixture. The mixture contained 2 g of active ingredients of propiconazole and 1 ml of Folicur [tebuconazole]/l of water. New tillers from endophyte-infected and endophyte-free plants were transferred into the field. The number of mealybugs was measured after the first visible sign of infestation on roots. To count mealybugs, one plant hill of each plot was randomly selected. Hay yield of each plot was measured by clipping the plants 5 cm above ground level. Correlation of hay yield and other growth characteristics with the number of mealybugs on roots as an index for mealybug damage on infested plants was determined. The results indicated that the endophyte-free plants were highly infested with P. solani compared with the endophyte-infected plants that were completely free of P. solani. Correlation coefficients showed that there was a significant negative correlation between forage yield and mealybug numbers, indicating mealybug damage on infested plants. It seems that the endophytic fungi are effective biological control factors for some root-feeding pest such as P. solani.