Attraction of four entomopathogenic nematodes to four white grub species
Koppenhofer, Albrecht M. | Fuzy, Eugene M.
To better understand the differences in the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematode species against white grub species, we are studying the various steps of the infection process of entomopathogenic nematodes into different white grub species using nematode species/strains with particular promise as white grub control agents. In this study we compared the attraction of the entomopathogenic nematodes Steinernema scarabaei (AMK001 strain), Steinernema glaseri (NC1 strain), Heterorhabditis zealandica (X1 strain), and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (GPS11 strain) to third-instars of the scarabs Popillia japonica, Anomala orientalis, Cyclocephala borealis, and Rhizotrogus majalis, and late-instar greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella, larvae. Individual larvae were confined at the bottom of 5.5 cm vertical sand columns, nematodes added to the sand surface after 24 h, and nematodes extracted after another 24 h. Nematode attraction to hosts was strongly affected by nematode species but the effect of insect species varied with nematode species. S. glaseri had a high innate dispersal rate (i.e., in absence of insects) and was strongly attracted to insects without significant differences among insect species. S. scarabaei had a very low innate dispersal rate so that even a strong relative response to insects resulted in low absolute dispersal rates toward insects. S. scarabaei tended to be most attracted to G. mellonella and least attracted to C. borealis. H. zealandica had a high innate dispersal rate but only responded weakly to insects without significant differences among species. H. bacteriophora had limited innate dispersal and only weakly responded to insects with G. mellonella tending to be the most attractive and C. borealis the least attractive insect. It has to be noted that we cannot exclude that the use of different rearing hosts (A. orientalis and P. japonica larvae for S. scarabaei, G. mellonella larvae for the other nematodes) might have had an impact on the nematodes dispersal and relative attraction behavior. This study indicates that host attractiveness and nematode dispersal rates may contribute but do not play a major role in the variability in white grub susceptibility and/or nematode virulence.Show more [+] Less [-]