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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374093

Research Project: New Tools for Managing Key Pests of Pecan and Peach

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: First report of Ovomermis sinensis (Nematoda: Mermithidae) parasitizing fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in China

item SUN, BINGJIAO - Nankai University
item LI, FEN - Hainan University
item HE, XIAORUI - Nankai University
item CAO, FENGQIN - Hainan University
item BANDASON, ELIZABETH - Lilongwe University Of Agriculture And Natural Resources
item Shapiro Ilan, David
item RUAN, WEIBIN - Nankai University
item WU, SHAOYING - Hainan University

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2020
Publication Date: 5/25/2020
Citation: Sun, B., Li, F., He, X., Cao, F., Bandason, E., Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Ruan, W., Wu, S. 2020. First report of Ovomermis sinensis (Nematoda: Mermithidae) parasitizing fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in China. Journal of Nematology. (52):1-7.

Interpretive Summary: The fall armyworm is a key insect pest that has invaded parts of Africa and Asia including China. The pest is causing severe harm to a variety of crops. Fall armyworm is usually controlled by chemical insecticides. However environmental and regulatory concerns as well as pesticide resistance indicate the need to develop alternative control measures. One avenue to explore in reference to alternative controls is to find natural biological control agents of the target pest, such as parasites. In this study, a nematode (round worm) was found parasitizing fall armyworm. This was the first report of the particular species of roundworm attacking fall armyworm. The nematode’s name is Ovomermis sinensis. Now that it is known that this nematode is a natural parasite of fall armyworm, research can be conducted to leverage this finding toward the development of an environmentally friendly pest control solution.

Technical Abstract: Spodoptera frugiperda invaded China in the end of 2018 and has caused severe damage to maize and other crops. Several Spodoptera frugiperda naturally parasitized by nematodes were observed in Hainan Province, China. The morphological characteristics based on the results of scanning electron microscopy indicated that the nematode belongs to the family Mermithidae. Additionally, coding sequences for the 18S and 28S rDNA were amplified from the nematode genome, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the nematode belongs to Ovomermis sinensis, a known entomoparasitic nematode. Our finding is the first record that Spodoptera frugiperda was naturally parasitized by Ovomermis sinensis. The results of this study are of great significance for potential biological control of S. frugiperda by indigenous natural beneficial organisms, i.e. O. sinensis within an integrated pest management system.