Morphological and Ecological Characterization of Steinernema feltiae (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) Rioja Strain Isolated from Bibio hortulanus (Diptera: Bibionidae) in Spain

R. Campos-Herrera, M. Escuer, L. Robertson, C. Gutierrez


A new strain of Steinernema feltiae (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) was isolated in La Rioja (Spain) from larvae of Bibio hortulanus (Diptera: Bibionidae). A comparative morphometric analysis of this new strain and four additional S. feltiae isolates was performed. Although significant differences in morphometric measurements were observed, PCR-RFLP profiles and sequence analysis of the ITS region of rDNA confirmed the identity of the new strain as A2 RFLP type of S. feltiae. A comparative morphometric study among nematodes from three hosts, Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and B. hortulanus, was conducted. Ecological characterization of the Rioja isolate was performed in G. mellonella larvae. Larval mortality was 75.3 and 78.12% in penetration and sand column assays, respectively, and the percentage of penetrating infective juveniles was 12.0 and 2.8% in these assays. Larval mortality in the one-on-one bioassay was 4.2 %, and in exposure-time bioassays, it was 50% at 11.25 hours. Relationships between morphometric characteristics and host mortality are discussed for this new strain of entomopathogenic nematode.


molecular markers; natural host; Spain; Steinernema feltiae; virulence.

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