Submitted to: International Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Shapiro-Ilan, D.I. 2004. In vivo production of entomopathogenic nematodes. International Journal Nematology. 14(13-18).
Interpretive Summary: Entomopathogenic nematodes are tiny round worms that kill many important insect pests, but do not harm humans, other animals, or the environment. These nematodes can be mass-produced in live insects or on artificial media such as in large fermentation tanks. Using live insects is simple but requires a lot of labor. Production on artificial media is cost efficient but requires substantial technological expertise and capital for startup. This paper presents a review and analysis of nematode production in live insects. The basis of the methodology consists of infecting insects with nematodes and then putting the infected insects on a substrate and allowing emerging nematode progeny to migrate into a water trap. Improvements in the system might be made through a new "LOTEK" system or by producing and applying nematode-infected insects directly.
Technical Abstract: Entomopathogenic nematodes (genera Steinernema and Heterorhabditis) kill insects with the aid of a mutualistic bacterium. The nematode-bacteria complex is mass produced for use as biopesticides using in vivo or in vitro methods, i.e., solid or liquid fermentation. In vivo production (culture in live insect hosts) is low technology, has low startup costs, and resulting nematode quality is high, yet cost efficiency is low. In vitro solid culture, i.e., growing the nematodes and bacteria on crumbled polyurethane foam, offers an intermediate level of technology and costs. This paper presents a review and analysis of in vivo production. In vivo production may be improved through innovations in mechanization and streamlining. The system can be improved by use of the new LOTEK approach or by producing and applying nematode-infected cadavers directly.