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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT FOR KEY PESTS OF PECAN AND PEACH

Location: Fruit and Nut Research

Title: Entomopathogenic nematode production and application technology

Authors
item Shapiro Ilan, David
item Han, Richou -
item Dolinski, Claudia -

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: May 2, 2012
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Han, R., Dolinski, C. 2012. Entomopathogenic nematode production and application technology. Journal of Nematology. 44:206-217.

Interpretive Summary: Due to environmental and regulatory pressures, environmentally safe alternatives to broad spectrum chemical insecticides are needed. Entomopathogenic nematodes (also called beneficial nematodes) are safe environmentally friendly natural insecticides. These small round worms are commercially produced and applied to control a variety of insect pests. Production and application technology is critical for the success of these nematodes in biological pest control. Production approaches include in vivo (in insects), and in vitro methods (solid or liquid fermentation on artificial media). For laboratory use and small scale field experiments, in vivo production appears to be the appropriate method. In vivo production is also appropriate for niche markets and small growers where a lack of capital, scientific expertise or infrastructure cannot justify large investments into in vitro culture technology. In vitro technology is used when large scale production is needed at reasonable quality and cost. Infective juveniles of entomopathogenic nematodes are usually applied using various spray equipment and standard irrigation systems. Enhanced efficacy in applications can be facilitated through improved delivery mechanisms (e.g., applying the nematodes in their infected insect host cadavers) or optimization of spray equipment. Substantial progress has been made in recent years in developing nematode formulations, particularly for above ground applications, e.g., mixing nematodes with a surfactants or polymers or with sprayable gels. Bait formulations can enhance EPN persistence and reduce the quantity of nematodes required per unit area. This review article provides a summary and analysis of factors that affect production and application of beneficial nematodes and offers insights for their future in biological insect suppression. The nematodes are currently suited to application in various arenas such as orchards, vegetable crops, and home gardens. Information in this article provides analysis to facilitate expansion of the nematode's utility in biological pest control.

Technical Abstract: Production and application technology is critical for the success of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) in biological control. Production approaches include in vivo, and in vitro methods (solid or liquid fermentation). For laboratory use and small scale field experiments, in vivo production of EPNs appears to be the appropriate method. In vivo production is also appropriate for niche markets and small growers where a lack of capital, scientific expertise or infrastructure cannot justify large investments into in vitro culture technology. In vitro technology is used when large scale production is needed at reasonable quality and cost. Infective juveniles of entomopathogenic nematodes are usually applied using various spray equipment and standard irrigation systems Enhanced efficacy in EPN applications can be facilitated through improved delivery mechanisms (e.g., cadaver application) or optimization of spray equipment. Substantial progress has been made in recent years in developing EPN formulations, particularly for above ground applications, e.g., mixing EPNs with a surfactants or polymers or with sprayable gels. Bait formulations and insect host cadavers can enhance EPN persistence and reduce the quantity of nematodes required per unit area. This review provides a summary and analysis of factors that affect production and application of EPNs and offer insights for their future in biological insect suppression.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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