Orientation of Heterorhabditis megidis to insect hosts and plant roots in a Y-tube sand olfactometer

Authors

  • Mari I.C. Boff,

    1. Plant Research International – Wageningen UR, P.O. Box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
    2. Wageningen University, Laboratory of Entomology, P.O. Box 8031, 6700 EH Wageningen, The Netherlands
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    • 2

      Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina - Centro de Ciências Agroveterinárias, Avenida Luis de Camões, 2090, 885 20-000, Lages, Santa Catarina, Brazil

  • Frans C. Zoon,

    1. Plant Research International – Wageningen UR, P.O. Box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
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  • Peter H. Smits

    1. Plant Research International – Wageningen UR, P.O. Box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Abstract

The host-searching behaviour of Heterorhabditis megidis strain NLH-E 87.3 in the presence of insect hosts and plant roots, offered individually and in combination, was studied using a newly developed Y-tube olfactometer filled with sand. Within a period of 24 hours infective juveniles (IJs) were significantly attracted to living G. mellonella larvae and caused 100% larval mortality. Otiorhynchus sulcatus larvae, however, did not elicit host-oriented movement of IJs and no larval mortality was observed. Roots of strawberry plants induced a negative response in IJs. The combination of strawberry roots and O. sulcatus larvae, however, strongly attracted IJs leading to 37% host mortality. It was shown that this type of Y-tube choice arena is a useful tool in studying the searching behaviour of entomopathogenic nematodes in a semi-natural habitat.

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