Host-Finding and Invasion by Entomopathogenic and Plant-Parasitic Nematodes: Evaluating the Ability of Laboratory Bioassays to Predict Field Results

Kenneth O. Spence, Edwin E. Lewis, Roland N. Perry


Directly viewing soil-dwelling entomopathogenic and plant-parasitic nematodes in situ is difficult, if not impossible. As a result, researchers have developed a diverse array of bioassays which assess nematode behavioral traits within arenas designed to simulate various aspects of the natural habitat. However, reliably rendering what we can see in the laboratory into accurate predictions of how nematodes achieve their objectives in the field is challenging. In the current review, we systemically assessed the goals and attributes of several of the assays most commonly used to investigate nematode host finding and host invasion behavior. By illuminating the relative strengths and limitations of each assay, we hope to improve our ability to develop meaningful predictions for the field.


behavior; chemotaxis; ecology; electrophysiology; olfactometer; soil column

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