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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Research Project #434742

Research Project: Group Behavior and Chemical Signaling as Drivers for Entomopathogenic Nematode Foraging and Infection Dynamics

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Project Number: 6042-22000-023-04-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: May 15, 2018
End Date: May 14, 2021

Objective:
Expand testing of novel biorational products to determine the potential efficacy of: 1. Elucidate behavioral mechanisms that define entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) dispersal and infection. 2. Elucidate chemical signaling that underlies EPN dispersal and infection behaviors. 3. Leverage knowledge on behavioral and chemical ecology to enhance biological pest suppression using EPNs.

Approach:
Objective 1: Trials will be conducted to determine if aggregative dispersal is continuous or temporal, and whether nematodes display “follow-the-leader” behavior. Objective 2: liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) based technologies and fractionation and Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) will identify bioactive active, which will be verified through bioassay. Objective 3: In laboratory and small field plots, chemical signaling compounds will be added to nematode suspensions to determine potential for enhanced pest control.