Biological Control Potential of Neoaplectanid Nematodes

Randy Gaugler

Abstract


The neoaplectanids are among the most studied of all entomogenous nematodes. Because these nematodes kill their insect hosts, they are regarded as having excellent potential as biological control agents. While the host specificity of most entontogenous nematodes tends to limit their potential usefulness, the broad host range and high virulence of neoaplectanids make them attractive candidates for industrial development. Also, recent development of economical mass rearing procedures appears to make production on a commercial basis feasible. Infective stages may be stored for years trader various laboratory conditions. Although entomogenous nematodes, as parasites, are exempt from govermnent registration requirements, the mutualistic association of neoaplectanid nematodes with a bacterium will likely necessitate a detailed safety evaluation. Studies conducted to date indicate a lack of pathogenicity to mammals. Field trial success has been limited by the intolerance of infective stages to mffavorable environmental conditions, particularly low moisture. Applications against pests on exposed plant foliage have been especially disappointing. More encouraging anti consistent results have been obtained in more favorable environments, including soil and aquatic habitats, but the most promising treatment sites ntay be cryptic habitats where infective stages are shehered from environmental extremes. Cryptic habitats also exploit the ability of neoaplectanids to actively seek out hosts in recessed places where conventional insecticide applications are intpractical. Key words: Neoaplectana bibionis, Neoaplectana carpocapsae, Neoapleetana glaseri, entomogenous nematodes.

Full Text:

PDF