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Biological characterization of the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema innovationi: a South African isolate

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Entomopathogenic nematode species perform differently under different environmental conditions; therefore, the authors investigated the biological and environmental characteristics that could optimize performance of Steinernema innovationi. The authors studied the effect of temperature on infectivity and reproduction, the foraging behavior and host range. Thermal activity was optimal between 22 and 25°C. Highest infective juvenile (IJ) yields in last instar Galleria mellonella were observed at 22°C (333,014 IJs/g) and 25°C (354,165 IJs/g). An average of 26% of the IJs infected G. mellonella larvae at depths of 15 cm within 24 hr. Steinernema innovationi IJs raised greater than 95% of their body off the substrate and moved in a circular pattern, but did not jump. The hosts, Acheta domesticus, Chilo partellus, and Plutella xylostella showed the least susceptibility. All other hosts, [Eldana saccharina, Sesamia calamistis, Tenebrio molitor, G. mellonella, Cydia pomonella] suffered 100% larval mortality. Pupal mortality ranged from 47 to 68%. An LC50 and LC70 of 3 and 31 IJs/larva, respectively, were calculated for Agrotis ipsilon. The results indicate that S. innovationi is adapted to moderate temperatures. Furthermore, to the author’s knowledge this is the first report of a nematode (particularly from ‘glaseri group’) that shows cruiser-type behavior in movement, but also nictates.

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Sciences de la vie, autres