The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, is a blood-feeding ectoparasite that affects egg-laying hens worldwide. Strategies to control this parasite have focused in the use of entomopathogenic fungi, such as Metarhizium anisopliae. However, only a few studies have evaluated the use of Aspergillus oryzae to control D. gallinae and none of them have employed native strains. In the work presented here, a novel entomopathogenic fungus was isolated from a dead D. gallinae. The results of phylogenetic analysis showed 100% similarity between the isolated strain and those of two species, A. oryzae and Aspergillus flavus, and 99.82% similarity with A. parvisclerotigenus, which were in the same branch of the Flavi section of the genus Aspergillus. This entomopathogenic fungus was a non-aflatoxin B1 producer, as shown by the presence of aflatoxin B1 in the conidial infection suspension. Morphological features of fungus in comparison with A. oryzae and A. flavus indicated that the isolated strain belonged to A. oryzae, and was named Aspergillus sp. Dg-1. The pathogenicity of Aspergillus sp. Dg-1 on D. gallinae at different life stages was then assessed under laboratory conditions. The experiments showed that the isolated strain significantly increased the mortality rate in adult mites, up to 24.83 ± 2.25, compared to the mortality rates in the control group, which were 15.17 ± 2.75 (P ＜ 0.05). However, Aspergillus sp. Dg-1 did not have pathogenic effects on the second nymph stage of D. gallinae. Our findings demonstrate that Aspergillus sp. Dg-1 has pathogenic effects on D. gallinae in their adult stage, presenting biocontrol potential against D. gallinae.
Aspergillus oryzae; Biological control; Dermanyssus gallinae; Entomopathogenic fungus; Poultry red mite