Beauveria bassiana, known for its entomopathogenic characteristics, is the most widely used biocontrol agent against many insect pests and may also be active against soil-borne pathogens. It inhabits the surfaces or inner tissues of various plant species without causing any visible signs or symptoms. Here we show that B. bassiana strain GHA, the active ingredient of a commercial microbial insecticide, colonises tomato plants. GHA grew on intact leaf surfaces of tomato in high humidity, but never entered stomata. Viable hyphae and conidia were detected, and the population on inoculated leaves significantly increased until 14 days after inoculation. On tomato leaves, GHA conidiated normally via conidiophores and phialides, and also via microcycle conidiation (conidiophores and phialides form directly from germ tubes and produce conidia). Hyphae were also detected inside the rachis, even more frequently after plant surfaces were scarified. These results suggested that B. bassiana strain GHA can grow epiphytically and endophytically on tomato plants.
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