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The Possible Role of Marigold Roots and α-Terthienyl in Mediating Host-Finding By Steinernematid Nematodes

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image of Nematologica
For more content, see Nematology.

The chemotaxis behaviour of the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae in the presence of germinated seeds, root pieces and root aqueous extracts of marigold and tomato was investigated. In Petri dish tests, individuals of S. carpocapsae were significantly attracted to germinated seeds of marigold and unsterilized root pieces of both marigold and tomato. No chemotaxis response was seen for germinated seeds of tomato or sterilized root pieces or root aqueous extracts of either plant. The ability of Steinernema glaseri to infect Galleria mellonella host insects through sand columns moistened with root aqueous extracts of these plants and an aqueous suspension of α-terthienyl, a root exudate of some plants including marigold, was also investigated. The root aqueous extracts of marigold and tomato did not adversely affect infectivity by the nematodes compared with the control but α-terthienyl at concentrations of 20 and 40 ppm significantly reduced the numbers of nematodes that infected insect hosts.

Affiliations: 1: Plant Protection & Pest Management Graduate Group and Department of Nematology, University of California, Davis, USA


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