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Metarhizium anisopliae infected cockroach (PLoS).jpg
Cockroach killed by Metarhizium anisopliae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Hypocreales
Family: Clavicipitaceae
Genus: Metarhizium
Type species
Metarhizium anisopliae
(Metschn.) Sorokīn

Metarhizium is a genus of entomopathogenic fungi in the Clavicipitaceae family. With the advent of genetic profiling, it has now become possible to place these fungi in proper taxa. Most turn out to be the asexual forms (anamorphs) of fungi in the phylum Ascomycota: including Metacordyceps spp.


Nine former varieties have now been assigned species status next to the well-known Metarhizium anisopliae:[1]

Species long recognised as distinct:

The teleomorphs of Metarhizium species appear to be members of the genus Metacordyceps.[2] Metacordyceps taii (as Cordyceps taii) has been described as the teleomorph of Metarhizium taii[3] and was later synonymised with M. anisopliae var. anisopliae,[4] but it is now described as a synonym of M. guizhouense.

It is not yet clear whether the other varieties of M. anisopliae have their own teleomorphs. It is, however, possible that some, if not most, strains of M. anisopliae have lost the capability of reproducing sexually.[5]

Locust control[edit]

In the 1990s, the LUBILOSA research program proved that M. acridum in its spore form was effective in killing locusts and other members of the Acrididea families with no deleterious effects found in field trials on any non-target species except for the domesticated silk worm Bombyx mori.[6] It is currently produced as a biopesticide under the name Green Muscle by Becker Underwood South Africa.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Bischoff J.F.; Rehner S.A. Humber R.A. (2009). "A multilocus phylogeny of the Metarhizium anisopliae lineage". Mycologia. 101 (4): 512–530. doi:10.3852/07-202. PMID 19623931. 
  2. ^ Sung, G.-H., Hywel-Jones, N.L., Sung, J.-M., Luangsa-ard, J.J., Shrestha, B. and Spatafora1, J.W. (2007). "Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi". Studies in Mycology. 57: 5–59. doi:10.3114/sim.2007.57.01. PMC 2104736Freely accessible. PMID 18490993. 
  3. ^ Liang, Z.-Q., Liu, A.-Y., Liu, J.-L. (1991). "A new species of the genus Cordyceps and its Metarhizium anamorph". Acta Mycologica Sinica. 10: 257–262. 
  4. ^ Huang B.; Li C.; Humber R.A.; Hodge K.T.; Fan M.; Li Z. (2005). "Molecular evidence for the taxonomic status of Metarhizium taii and its teleomorph, Cordyceps taii (Hypocreales, Clavicipitaceae)". Mycotaxon. 94: 137–147. 
  5. ^ ?
  6. ^ Lomer C.J., Bateman R.P., Johnson D.L., Langewald, J. and Thomas, M., 2001, Biological Control of Locusts and Grasshoppers. Annual Review of Entomology, 46, 667-702

External links[edit]