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Larvicidal potential of cell wall degrading enzymes from Trichoderma asperellum against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)
Biotechnology Progress  (IF2.681),  Pub Date : 2021-06-11, DOI: 10.1002/btpr.3182
Alexsander Augusto da Silveira, Jackeline Santana Paula Andrade, Ana Carla Peixoto Guissoni, Adeliane Castro da Costa, Arthur de Carvalho e Silva, Heloisa Garcia da Silva, Pedro Brito, Guilherme Rocha Lino de Souza, Kátia Flávia Fernandes

Aedes aegypti is a mosquito vector of arboviruses such as dengue, chikungunya, zika and yellow fever that cause important public health diseases. The incidence and gravity of these diseases justifies the search for effective measures to reduce the presence of this vector in the environment. Bioinsecticides are an effective alternative method for insect control, with added ecological benefits such as biodegradability. The current study demonstrates that a chitinolytic enzyme complex produced by the fungus Trichoderma asperellum can disrupt cuticle formation in the L3 larvae phase of A. aegypti, suggesting such biolarvicidal action could be used for mosquito control. T. asperellum was exposed to chitin from different sources. This induction of cell wall degrading enzymes, including chitinase, N-acetylglucosaminidase and β-1,3-glucanase. Groups of 20 L3 larvae of A. aegypti were exposed to varying concentrations of chitinolytic enzymes induced with commercial chitin (CWDE) and larvae cell wall degrading enzymes (L-CWDE). After 72 h of exposure to the CWDE, 100% of larvae were killed. The same percent mortality was observed after 48 h of exposure to L-CWDE at half the CWDE enzyme mixture concentration. Exoskeleton deterioration was further observed by scanning and electron microscopy. Our findings indicate that L-CWDE produced by T. asperellum reflect chitinolytic enzymes with greater specificity for L3 larval biomolecules. This specificity is characterized by the high percentage of mortality compared with CWDE treatments and also by abrupt changes in patterns of the cellular structures visualized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. These mixtures of chitinolytic enzymes could be candidates, as adjuvant or synergistic molecules, to replace conventional chemical insecticides currently in use.