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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Research Project #435064

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

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Project Number: 6042-22000-023-05-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

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

Objective:
1) Elucidate behavioral mechanisms that define entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) dispersal and chemical signals that drive the behavior, 2) Elucidate behavioral mechanisms that define EPN infection dynamics and chemical signals that drive the behavior, and 3) Leverage knowledge on behavioral and chemical ecology to enhance biological pest suppression using EPNs.

Approach:
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are potent biocontrol agents. However, field efficacy is variable and often does not live up to expectations. Therefore, it is imperative to elucidate the bases for variations in efficacy. Simply put, efficacy relies on successful nematode foraging (host-finding) and infection. Primary approach is to explore the mechanisms that drive nematode foraging and infection dynamics.