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Diversity of entomopathogenic nematodes (Nematoda: Steinernematidae, Heterorhabditidae) from Arasbaran forests and rangelands in north-west Iran

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A survey for entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) was carried out in the Arasbaran forests and rangelands, East Azarbaijan province, north-west Iran, during 2006 to 2008. A total of 691 soil samples were collected from 62 localities across the region of which 21 samples (3%) were positive for EPN, including nine samples (1.3%) with heterorhabditids and 12 (1.7%) with steinernematids. Seven isolates (four Steinernema and three Heterorhabditis) were recovered from rangelands and 14 (eight Steinernema and six Heterorhabditis) from forest soil samples. Based on morphology and molecular studies, the Heterorhabditis isolates were identified as H. bacteriophora and the Steinernema isolates as S. carpocapsae, S. bicornutum, S. feltiae, S. glaseri, S. kraussei and three undescribed species referred to here as Steinernema sp. IRAZ7, Steinernema sp. IRAZ13 and Steinernema sp. IRAZ21. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, the most common species, was present in nine soil samples collected across the forests and rangelands, and of the Steinernema species, S. bicornutum was obtained from three samples, the other species being found from only one or two samples.

Affiliations: 1: Research Centre of Agriculture and Natural Resources of East Azarbaijan Province, Tabriz, Iran;, Email:; 2: Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz 51664, Iran; 3: Department of Biology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland; 4: Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Science, University of Tarbiat Moallem of Azarbaijan, Tabriz, Iran


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