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Evaluation of adjuvants for foliar application of Steinernema carpocapsae against larvae of the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella)

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Increasing resistance to chemical insecticides in field populations of the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) has stimulated research on alternative control measures. The entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae may be one such alternative, particularly against the third larval instar of P. xylostella. The LC50 for the second instar is 38, the third 13 and the fourth 22 nematodes/larva. Plutella xylostella pupae were not affected by the nematodes, although mortality in leaf disk bioassays after application of nematodes in water seldom surpassed 50%. Therefore, additives were tested to improve nematode performance. Only Triton X-100 (0.3%) caused phytotoxic effects. The addition of xanthan gum or potassium alginate resulted in a two-fold increase of insect mortality at 80% relative humidity (RH) and a five-fold increase at 60% RH. Mixtures of 0.3% xanthan or alginate with 0.3% surfactants further improved efficacy. In water the LT50 for S. carpocapsae against P. xylostella larvae was > 40 h. Using a mixture of 0.3% xanthan or 0.3% alginate with 0.3% surfactant, the LT50 was reduced to < 25 h.


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