Mass multiplication of entomopathogenic fungus, Paecilomyces lilacinus (Thom) Samson with solid substrates
Various solid substrates like rice bran, wheat bran, gingelly oil cake, coir pith, neem cake were evaluated for the mass multiplication of the fungus, Paecilomyces lilacinus (ITCC 6064). Among the substrates, rice bran recorded the maximum spore count of 4.32x108 spores/ml followed by wheat bran (3.19x108 spores/ml), gingelly oil cake (2.63x108 spores/ml), coir pith (2.44x108spores/ml) and neem cake (2.16x108 spores/ml) on 28th day after inoculation. There was a gradual decline in spore count from fourth week after inoculation. The fungus mass multiplied in rice bran can be used with an effective spore concentration for a period of one month in the management of insects. Therefore, rice bran serves to be the suitable substrate for the mass multiplication of the entomopathogenic fungus, P. lilacinus.