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Ecological characterisation of native isolates of Heterorhabditis indica from Viti Levu, Fiji Islands.

Kour, Sumeet and Khurma, Uma R. and Brodie, Gilianne D. (2021) Ecological characterisation of native isolates of Heterorhabditis indica from Viti Levu, Fiji Islands. Journal of Nematology, 53 (e2021). pp. 1-20. ISSN 0022-300X

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Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) in the families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae are obligate parasites of soil inhibiting insects. EPNs are being widely researched as promising biocontrol agents for a wide range of agricultural pests. It is known that strains of EPNs isolated from different geographical regions differ in their attributes, such as host-finding ability, host range, infectivity, reproduction, and environmental stress tolerance. A precise knowledge of these factors is therefore an essential pre-requisite for devising successful strategies to use these nematodes in biological control programmes. Thus, ecological characterisation of the EPN Heterorhabditis indica (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) newly isolated and representing the only species of EPN reported from the island of Viti Levu, Fiji was carried out using Galleria mellonella larvae (L) (Pyralidae: Galleriinae) as hosts to allow comparisons between bioassays conducted in different laboratories around the world. Temperature data showed that native isolates of H. indica are warm-adapted nematodes with thermal range for infectivity between 15˚C and 35˚C and can reproduce between 20˚C and 30˚C. They are highly virulent with LC50 values against G. mellonella ranging from 2.8 IJ to 3.8 IJ/larva. However, they showed poor desiccation tolerance and fail to infect hosts in soil with moisture levels below 8%. They showed a moderate level of hypoxic tolerance and can be stored at 15˚C for 4 months. Results also showed great variability within the selected native isolates of H. indica. Beneficial traits for selected isolates were added up to identify a superior candidate. The current study also suggested that the thermal niche breadth for infection can differ among conspecific strains of an EPN species. The results of this experimental study on ecological aspects of these native isolates of H. indica should form a basis for their potential use in biological control of insect pests in Fiji

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General) > Q1-390 Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS)
Depositing User: Gilianne Brodie
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2021 00:38
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2022 00:43

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