#3-06: Pathogens and other microbial associates of mites and ticks

Organizer: Sreerama Kumar, Takashi Tsunoda

Since 1924, there has been a steady increase in the interest on pathogens of acarines across the world. At first there were just observations of diseases in natural populations of phytophagous mites, but later isolations of pathogens and attempts at their exploitation happened. The prime examples have been Hirsutella thompsonii as an inundative control agent and Neozygites floridana as a classical biological control candidate. Meanwhile, with the extensive use of predatory mites in protected crops, acarologists were compelled to look for ways to eliminate pathogens that interfere with the mass production of the predators. Cattle ticks are a universal problem, and dairy farmers have been looking for environmentally safe biological alternatives to manage this menace. Another interesting area of research that is about to flourish in the near future is understanding the role of symbionts and other microflora of the gut and reproductive tract of acarines. This symposium is timely, because it is felt that there is an urgent need for acaropathologists to catch up with entomopathologists, who have already delivered many commercial products and have also resolved many insect-microbe associations.