Open Access

Enhanced entomopathogenic nematode yield and fitness via addition of pulverized insect powder to solid media


Beneficial nematodes are used as biological control agents. Low-cost mass production of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) is an important prerequisite toward their successful commercialization. EPNs can be grown via in vivo methods or in sold or liquid fermentation. For solid and liquid approaches, media optimization is paramount to maximizing EPN yield and quality. In solid media, the authors investigated the effects of incorporating pulverized insect powder from larvae of three insects (Galleria mellonella, Tenebrio molitor, and Lucillia sericata) at three dose levels (1, 3, and 5%). The impact of insect powder was assessed on infective juvenile (IJ) yield in solid media. Additionally, IJs produced in solid culture were subsequently assessed for virulence, and progeny production in a target insect, Spodoptera litura. The dose level of larval powder had a significant effect on IJ yield in both trials, whereas insect type had significant effect on IJ yield in trial 1 but not in trial 2. The maximum solid culture yield was observed in T. molitor powder at the highest dose in both trials. Moreover, the time-to-death in S. litura was substantially shortened in trial 1 and in trial 2 when IJs from the T. molitor powder treatment were applied. There was no significant effect of combining two insect powders relative to addition of powder from a single insect species. These findings indicate that addition of insect powder to solid media leads to high mass production yields, and the fitness of the IJs produced (e.g., in virulence and reproductive capacity) can be enhanced as well.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other