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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Lewis, Edwin
item Campbell, James - Jim
item Griffin, Christine
item Kaya, Harry
item Peters, Arne

Submitted to: Journal of Biological Control
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2005
Publication Date: 1/15/2006
Citation: Lewis, E., Campbell, J.F., Griffin, C., Kaya, H., Peters, A. 2006. Behavorial ecology of entomopathogenic nematodes. Journal of Biological Control 38: 66-79.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The behavior and ecology of entomopathogenic nematodes (i.e., steinernematids and heterorhabditids) have been studied in attempts to make these natural enemies better biological control agents. Recently entomopathogenic nematodes have also been the subject of more basic studies, where they are viewed as model organisms with which to ask questions about parasite biology in general. In this review of entomopathogenic nematode behavioral ecology based on presentations from a symposium at the Third International Symposium on Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Symbiotic Bacteria held in September of 2003, we ask which aspects of entomopathogenic nematode biology are most important to understand to improve their success as biological control agents. We divide this review into four sections that describe the behavioral and ecological aspects of the infection process for entomopathogenic nematodes in chronological order. The first section describes host finding behaviors and strategies. The second section, and next step in infection, is a mechanistic look at how infective juveniles recognize hosts and how they gain entrance into the host hemocoel. Third is a section on infection strategies and the interaction between nematodes inside and outside the host. Finally, we examine the defense of the host cadaver from opportunistic competitors, specifically ants.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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