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Document Type

Peer-Review Article

Abstract

Abstract

Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) demonstrate potential as a biological control for soil dwelling insects. However, edaphic factors, such as soil moisture and texture impact the efficacy of EPN on a host. The objectives were to examine the effects of soil texture and moisture on 1) the infection rate of Galleria mellonella L. by EPN and; 2) the ability of H. bacteriophora (Poinar) to move through the soil to find a host at different orientations. Soil textures consisted of sand, a sand/silt/peat mixture, and a silt/peat mixture at 50% and 100% moisture. A general linear model was used to evaluate infection rates and EPN movement. Both soil moisture (p < 0.05) and texture (p < 0.05) had significant effects on nematodes infection rates of G. mellonella. Texture, moisture, and host orientation did not significantly affect (p > 0.05) the ability of EPN to find a host. While EPN were able to find a host within a variety of soil types, soils that held more water had higher infection rates than soils that held less water, suggesting that moisture may be a key component in facilitating infection by EPN. By understanding the factors that influence the ability of EPN to find and infect a host, improved bio-control programs using EPN can be developed.

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Entomology Commons

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