Susceptibility of the Adult Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica to Entomopathogenic Nematodes

E. Erin Morris, Parwinder S. Grewal


To build upon prior research demonstrating the potential of entomopathogenic nematode dissemination by infected adult Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, we evaluated susceptibility of the adult beetles to 20 strains of Steinernema and Heterorhabditis under laboratory conditions. The nematodes were applied at a rate of 10,000 infective juveniles per 10 adult beetles in 148 mL plastic cups containing autoclaved sand and sassafras leaves as a source of food for the beetles. All strains infected the beetles and caused 55% to 95% mortality. The most virulent strains that caused 50% beetle mortality in less than 5 days included a strain of H. georgiana (D61), three strains of Steinernema sp. (R54, R45, and FC48), and two strains of S. carpocapsae (All and D60). The ability of two strains of Steinernema sp. (R45 and R54) and two strains of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (D98 and GPS11) to infect and reproduce in the beetle was further examined to assess the potential of infected beetles to disseminate nematodes upon their death. All four strains infected and killed the beetles, but only Steinernema strains reproduced in the cadavers. We conclude that both Heterorhabditis and Steinernema strains are able to cause mortality to adult Japanese beetle, but Steinernema strains may be effectively disseminated due to their reproduction in the beetle.

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