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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #307610

Title: Breeding a super nematode for enhanced insect pest suppression

item Shapiro Ilan, David
item ADAMS, BYRON - Brigham Young University

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2014
Publication Date: 6/1/2014
Citation: Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Adams, B. 2014. Breeding a super nematode for enhanced insect pest suppression. Journal of Nematology. 46:233.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Entomopathogenic nematodes in the genera Heterorhabditis and Steinernema are important regulators of natural insect populations, and are used commercially as biological control agents for pest suppression. Successful biocontrol applications depend on the introduced organism having an array of beneficial traits such as virulence, host-finding, environmental tolerance etc. Thus biocontrol potential can be improved by enhancing these traits. Approaches to strain improvement include discovery, selection, hybridization, transgenics or a combination thereof. These methods have been successfully applied to a number of entomopathogenic nematode species. In addition to enhancing traits, trait stability is another factor that is critical for biocontrol success. Beneficial traits can deteriorate during repeated culturing in laboratory or industrial settings. Deterioration of various traits has been reported in entomopathogenic nematodes. The cause of trait change was found to be genetically based (at least in part) and inbreeding depression was implicated as a significant contributing factor. Recently the creation of homozygous inbred lines was found deter the negative repercussions of trait change during serial culture. Inbred lines can be generated in the laboratory through serial self-fertilization (heterorhabditids) or sibling mating (steinernematids). Additionally, for heterorhabditids only, multiple inbred lines can be automatically generated in liquid culture because the nematodes cannot mate in the liquid media. Generation of multiple versus single inbred lines for commercial development each has advantages and disadvantages. Selected inbred lines and beneficial trait improvement programs offer a substantial advancement in biocontrol potential for entomopathogenic nematodes.