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Entomopathogenic fungi can Control population of various insects. A number of entomopathogenic fungi also have ability to endophytically colonize many plant species. The Endophytic colonization by these fungi providesa source of indirect interactions between fungi and insects.This endophytic activity of entomopathogens may contribute in regulation of insect populations but also can cause diseases and damage to the plants. The entomopathogenic Aspergillus flavusis able to colonize different plant species by producing aflatoxins which is more favored in warm temperatures (32-38ºC). The present study is aimed to assess the effects of Aspergillus flavuson tomato plant (Solanum lysopersicum) and to determine its endophytic activity. Aspergillus flavuswas isolated from soil using insect bait method. The fungal suspension was prepared and applied on tomato plant leaves by spraying. After 7 days significant disease symptoms related to gray mold disease, late blight and leaf mold were observed when compared to plants of untreated control group. Microscopic observations showed 100% colonization of Aspergillus flavus on treated leaves. It is evident that the Aspergillus flavus can endophytically colonize tomato plant leaves and cause various diseases. So the utilization of entomopathogenic Aspergillus flavus to control insect population needs further research investigation for its environmental safety to non-target organisms.
Keywords: Aflatoxins; Endophytic; Entomopathogen; Non-target