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Conidiobolus thromboides, Drechsler (1953)

Conidiobolus thromboides is an entomopathogenic (able to infect insects), saprophytic, facultative fungus found on plant debris and aphids, belongs to the order Entomophthorales, within the phylum Entomophthoromycota (formerly placed in the phylum Zygomycota).

These fungi produce conidia that are forcibly ejected and if they land on a host (aphid) and germinate they may or may not form appressoria.

·      When it forms an appressorium and penetrates the host, the hyphae divides and the hyphal body form resting spores inside the dead body of the aphid. When the conditions are favorable these resting spores germinate, conidia are produced and are ejected again.

·      When the appressorium doesn’t form, it also causes deadly infections in the aphid, followed by sporulation from the cuticle of host, completing the life cycle.

C. thromboides is a major pathogenic group for aphids, being able to cause epizootic (outbreak of the disease) and this makes it useful as biological control for aphid pests of crops such as potato, small grains, cotton and soybeans.

C thromboides is one of two species of this genus that is able to accumulate significant amounts of very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLCPUFAs) that benefits the structure and function of organs in humans such as the heart, eyes and nervous system. VLCPUFAs can be found in marine fish and fish oil, but since the population of fish has decreased the study of this fungus has become important for human health. 


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