Activity and Persistence of Steinernema carpocapsae and Spodoptera exigua Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus against S. exigua Larvae on Soybean

A. A. Agra Gothama, G. W. Lawrence, P. P. Sikorowski


Experiments were conducted to assess the effects of the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae and Spodoptera exigua multinucleocapsid nuclear polyhedrosis virus (SeMNPV), alone and in combinations, on mortality of the beet armyworm, S. exigua, larvae on soybean. In 1991 tests, field-grown soybean plants were treated with S. carpocapsae at 0.3 and 0.6 nematodes/cm² of leaflet, SeMNPV at 20 and 40 polyhedral inclusion bodies (PIB)/cm², and all possible combinations. Treated leaflets were collected from plants and bioassayed with 5-day-old larvae. The combination of S. carpocapsae at 0.6 nematodes/cm² + SeMNPV at 40 PIB/cm² produced significantly higher larval mortality (61.7%) compared with either S. carpocapsae (24.8-35.1%) or SeMNPV (26.5-33.7%) alone. In 1992, similar tests were repeated using S. carpocapsae at 0.2 and 0.5 nematodes/cm², and SeMNPV at 14 and 35 PIB/cm². The combination of 0.5 nematodes/cm² + 35 PIB/cm² resulted in significantly higher larval mortality (64.0%) than either pathogen alone (41.5-49.0%). Steinernema carpocapsae and SeMNPV produced additive effects on beet arlnyworm mortality. Persistence of S. carpocapsae was 12-24 hours and SeMNPV was 96-120 hours on soybean. Key words: beet armyworm, biological control, entomopathogenic nematode, interaction, nuclear polyhedrosis virus, Spodoptera exigua, Steinernema carpocapsae.

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