Actinobacteria have been drawing attention due to their potential for the development of new pest control products. We hereby assess the effects of Streptomyces isolated from marine and caatinga biomes against Duponchelia fovealis Zeller (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), a pest associated with the strawberry culture at a global scale. To this end, eggs deposited by adults were immersed for 5 s in a bacterial suspension, and the larvae were fed on leaflets placed in glass tubes containing bacterial suspensions. In both treatments, the control was a saline solution. The bioassays demonstrated that the Streptomyces strains were able to cause the death of D. fovealis eggs (≈ 40%) and larvae (≈ 65%) compared to untreated eggs (1.4%) and larvae (2.0%). The crude extract of strain T49 and the chitinase extract of strain T26 affected larval growth when applied directly to the thorax of first-instar larvae (larval-adult lifespan of 65.3 ± 0.5 days and 67.5 ± 0.7 days, respectively; survival of 61.2 ± 1.2%) in relation to the control treatment (larval-adult lifespan of 41.75 ± 0.2 days and survival of 83.7 ± 2.6%). The Streptomyces spp. strains T41, T49, and T50 caused antifeeding activity. Apart from larval mortality, the adults that emerged from the larvae exposed to the extracts presented morphological abnormalities, and the moths' chitin spectra showed clear alterations to the pupa and wings. Our studies show, for the very first time, that Streptomyces isolated from the marine environment and the Caatinga biome are effective at provoking the mortality of D. fovealis and are promising agents for developing new products with biological control properties.
Keywords: Actinobacteria; Actinomycetes; Chitinase; European pepper moth; Metabolites.
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