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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Chemistry Research » Research » Research Project #435641

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

Location: Chemistry Research

Project Number: 6036-22000-028-03-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 dispersing nematodes display “follow-the-leader” behavior. Objective 2: LC-MS based technologies and fractionation and NMR will identify bioactive pheromones, which will be verified through bioassay. Objective 3: In laboratory and small field plots, nematode pheromones alone or combined with plant produced kairomones will be added to nematode suspensions to determine potential for enhanced pest control.