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Natural occurrence and distribution of entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernematidae, Heterorhabditidae) in Viti Levu, Fiji Islands

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In Fiji, little or no attention has been given to entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) in biocontrol programs due to the lack of awareness about their occurrence and distribution in Fiji. A survey of EPNs was conducted for the first time in Fiji Islands in 2012 and 2013, throughout the eight provinces in Viti Levu to determine the occurrence and distribution across different habitat in Viti Levu. The soil samples from various habitats were collected and assayed for the presence of EPN using Galleria mellonella as baits. EPNs were recovered from five out of seven provinces with 35 positive sites (7.3%) out of 478 sites sampled. The only EPN genera encountered was Heterorhabditis. Steinernema was not isolated from any of the samples. Characterization of isolates was done by using morphometric and molecular examinations and isolates were identified as Heterorhabditis indica. H. indica isolates were primarily recovered from leeward side of the Viti Levu Island along the coastline and riversides, being more prevalent in lighter soil with pH > 6. Further, this study found significant association between habitat type, soil type, soil pH, average annual rainfall and EPN occurrence. This is the first record of naturally occurring EPNs in Fiji. The found nematodes will serve as the basis for efficacy screening with the ultimate aim of delivering effective, more sustainable and environmentally safe control for agricultural pests in Fiji.

Volume Open
Sujets de la revue:
Life Sciences, other