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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Entomopathogenic Nematode Host Search Strategies

Authors
item Campbell, James
item Lewis, Edwin - VIRGINIA TECH UNIV

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 18, 2001
Publication Date: August 1, 2002
Citation: CAMPBELL, J.F., LEWIS, E.E. ENTOMOPATHOGENIC NEMATODE HOST SEARCH STRATEGIES. BOOK CHAPTER IN: THE BEHAVIOURAL ECOLOGY OF PARASITES, E.E. LEWIS, J.F. CAMPBELL, AND M.V.K. SUKHDEO, EDS. P. 13-38. 2002.

Technical Abstract: This chapter reviews the behavioral ecology of the insect parasitic nematode infective stage. The major behavioral strategies used by nematode infective stages and the evolution of nematode/insect associations are summarized, but the chapter focuses on the behavior of nematodes in the genus Steinernema. Nematodes in this genus are important biological control lagents and their ability to find pest insects in cryptic habitats is critical to their success in suppressing pest populations. Inter-specific variation along the continuum between being an ambush (sit and wait) searcher and a cruise forager is present in this genus. The type of search strategy a nematode uses influences the type of host insects that are likely to be encountered and infected. The steps involved in host location from emergence from a depleted host to acceptance of a new host are presented. Important behaviors expressed during host search are evaluated from mechanistic, functional, and evolutionary perspectives. It is demonstrated that how a species responds to information from their environment, such as chemical cues, is dependent on the type of search strategy used by the infective stage. Parasite infective stages make useful models for addressing behavioral questions related to search behavior.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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