Metarhizium is a common fungus that is found in soil and widely used in insect pest control today. It is known for its ability to kill a wide range of insects, protect surrounding plants and provide plants with much sought after nitrogen. St. Leger Lab has a new paper out in Current Opinion in Microbiology that looks into the current research on this fungi and its–plant–insect interactions. Although experimentation has led to detailed knowledge of how this fungus interacts with plants and insects, most of these studies have focused on highly controlled interactions between single species in the lab, leading to a knowledge gap when it comes to understanding Metarhizium plant–insect interactions in natural communities. The authors hope an increase in Metarhizium studies on natural ecosystems will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of this fungi’s plant protection ability.
Before concluding a shout out is needed. Congrats to Huiyu Sheng, this is her 1st first-authored paper, and to Raymond St. Leger her proud UMD mentor.
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