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Ecological characterisation of Steinernema monticolum, a cold-adapted entomopathogenic nematode from Korea

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For more content, see Nematologica.

This study describes the basic ecological characteristics of the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema monticolum that was originally isolated from soil in a mountain forest on Mount Jiri, Republic of Korea. Under laboratory conditions, S. monticolum infected a wide range of insect species but appeared best adapted to lepidopteran larvae as hosts. It uses an intermediate foraging strategy with a low attachment rate to mobile hosts on the soil surface and poor infection of sedentary hosts placed at  5 cm soil depth. S. monticolum infected hosts over a wide range of soil moisture ranging from ­ 1500 kPa to ­ 3 kPa. It has a wide thermal activity range with optimum infectivity from 12 to 25°C. When stored in water over a 6 month period, S. monticolum persisted well from 5 to 25°C. Its infectivity also remained high when stored from 5 to 15°C but declined faster at 25°C. Because of its foraging strategy and adaptation to cool temperatures, S. monticolum has potential for the control of pests, especially Lepidoptera, that hibernate in the upper soil layer or soil litter.

Zusammenfassung – Ökologische Charakterisierung des entomopathogenen Nematoden Steinernema monticolum aus Korea – Die grundlegenden ökologischen Merkmale des entomopathogenen Nematoden Steinernema monticolum , einer Art, die ursprüglich aus dem Boden eines Bergwaldes am Jiri Berg in Korea isoliert worden ist, werden beschrieben. Unter Laborbedingungen infizierte S. monticolum einen weiten Bereich von Insektenarten, schien jedoch am besten an Larven von Lepidoptera angepasst zu sein. Dieser Nematode verfügt über ein intermediäres Wirtssuchverhalten mit einer niedrigen Anheftungsrate an bewegliche Wirte auf der Bodenoberfläche und einer niedrigen Infektionsrate von sedentären Wirten in  5 cm Bodentiefe. S. monticolum infizierte Wirte in einem weiten Bereich von Bodenfeuchtigkeiten (­ 1500 kPa bis ­ 3 kPa). Diese Art hat einen weiten thermischen Aktivitätsbereich mit optimaler Infektiösität von 12 bis 25°C. Bei Lagerung in Wasser über einen Zeitraum von sechs Monaten zeigte S. monticolum hohe Überlebensraten bei Temperaturen von 5 bis 25°C. Die Infektiösität blieb ebenfalls hoch im Bereich von 5 bis 15°C, nahm bei Lagerung bei 25°C aber schneller ab. Wegen seines Wirtssuchverhaltens und seiner Anpassung an kühle Temperaturen erscheint S. monticolum ein hohes Potentential für die Bekämpfung von Schadinsekten, inbesondere Lepidoptera, die in den oberen Bodenschichten oder im Streu überwintern, zu haben.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Entomology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA; 2: Visiting Scientist: Division of Nematology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi 110012, India; 3: Department of Nematology,University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8668, USA


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