Production of microsclerotia by Brazilian strains of Metarhizium spp. using submerged liquid culture fermentation

World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 May;30(5):1583-90. doi: 10.1007/s11274-013-1581-0. Epub 2013 Dec 17.


We investigated the potential production and desiccation tolerance of microsclerotia (MS) by Brazilian strains of Metarhizium anisopliae (Ma), M. acridum (Mc) and M. robertsii (Mr). These fungi were grown in a liquid medium containing 16 g carbon l⁻¹ with a carbon:nitrogen ratio of 50:1. One hundred milliliters cultures were grown in 250 ml Erlenmeyer flasks in a rotary incubator shaker at 28 °C and 200 rpm for 5 days. Five-day-old MS were harvested, mixed with diatomaceous earth (DE) and air-dried for 2 days at 30 °C. The air-dried MS-DE granular preparations were milled by mortar + pestle and stored in centrifuged tubes at either 26 or -20 °C. Desiccation tolerance and conidia production were assessed for dried MS granules by measuring hyphal germination after incubation for 2 days on water agar plates at 26 °C and for conidia production following 7 days incubation. Yields of MS by all strains of Metarhizium were 6.1-7.3 × 10⁶ l⁻¹ after 3 days growth with maximum MS yields (0.7-1.1 × 10⁷ l⁻¹) after 5 days growth. No differences in biomass accumulation were observed after 3 days growth, whereas Ma-CG168 showed the highest biomass accumulation after 5 days growth. Dried MS-DE preparations of all fungal strains were equally tolerant to desiccation (≥93 % germination) and the highest conidia production was obtained by MS granules of Mc-CG423 (4 × 10⁹ conidia g⁻¹). All MS granules showed similar stability after storage at either 26 or -20 °C for 3.5 months.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Brazil
  • Carbon / metabolism
  • Culture Media / metabolism*
  • Desiccation
  • Fermentation*
  • Hyphae / growth & development
  • Metarhizium / classification
  • Metarhizium / growth & development*


  • Culture Media
  • Carbon