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Keywords:

  • biological control;
  • cadaver;
  • cold storage;
  • mortality;
  • virulence

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Direct application of insect cadavers infected with entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) can successfully control target pest insects. Little is known about the effects of environmental factors (desiccation and temperature) on the production process for infective juveniles (IJ) in insects.

RESULTS

We examined the effects of desiccation time and cold storage (6.7 °C) on IJ production of the nematode Steinernema carpocapsae in Galleria mellonella cadavers at 30.8 and 57% humidity. Under desiccation, the IJ yield in cadavers increased gradually and reached a maximum on day 5. IJ yield gradually declined from day 6 onwards and was almost zero by day 15. In general, cold storage at 6.7 °C caused negative effects on IJ production in desiccated cadavers. Approximately 56 h post infection was the time at which nematodes were most sensitive to low temperatures during development in cadavers. Five-day desiccated cadavers generated higher mortality and more rapid death of Galleria mellonella larvae than using newly (day 0) desiccated cadavers.

CONCLUSION

This study describe methods of optimizing rearing techniques such as desiccation and cold storage to promote the mass production and application of EPN- infected host cadavers for the field control of insect pests. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry