Mushroom Revival Podcast

A podcast devoted to the wonderful world of fungi. Our eclectic show covers fungi in health & wellness, technology, science, culture and more. Welcome to the Mushroom Revival.


episode 103: Mycopesticides for Malaria Mosquitoes


Zombie fungi aren't just cool — they're extremely useful.

Dr. Brian Lovett is back on the show to discuss the powers of entomopathogenic fungi. We get into the weeds of what makes these fungi equip for success as carnivores, transgenic engineering, the evolution of pathology and more. Brian also shares cutting edge research from the MosquitoSphere in Burkina Faso, where he and his team work to combat malaria using Metarhizium fungi.

Topics Covered:

  • Defining entomopathogenic fungi
  • Chemical signaling and mechanisms of infection
  • Circadian rhythms in fungi, and how entomopathogenic fungi time keep in their hosts
  • Mycopesticides, especially to fight Malaria in mosquitoes 
  • Transgenic engineering of fungi with spider venom genes to target insects 
  • Metarhizium as a platform fungi for board and narrow range target specific 
  • Current practices, successes and challenges in the fight against malaria
  • Ethics of developing and deploying biotechnology in international local communities 
  • Synergies between bio and chemical insecticides
  • Unique chemical  compositions of entomopathogenic fungi

Show notes:

  • Brian Lovett's website:
  • Cordyceps unilateralis on the BBC:
  • Genetically engineering fungal pesticides:
  • The Insect Pathogens:
  • Zombie Insect Presentation with Genspace:
  • Articles mentioned:
  • Transgenic Metarhizium:


 2021-06-19  42m