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Utilisation of entomopathogenic nematodes, Heterorhabditis spp. and Steinernema spp., for the control of Agrotis ipsilon (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) in China

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Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) have good application prospects for the control of the black cutworm, Agrotis ipsilon. In the present study, the effects of isolate, exposure rate, temperature and larval stage on EPN infectivity to A. ipsilon were evaluated. Results of in vitro tests showed that Steinernema carpocapsae Mex and Heterorhabditis indica LN2 were the most virulent and promising species, causing 80.0 and 83.3% mortality, respectively, to the third instar larvae at 25°C and 72 h after infection. Mortality of A. ipsilon caused by the nematodes was significantly affected by EPN exposure rate, temperature and the larval stage. Both S. carpocapsae and H. indica caused greater mortality to the third instar of A. ipsilon at 25°C than at 15, 20 and 30°C. Both EPN isolates also caused higher mortality to the second instar than to the third and fourth instar larvae of A. ipsilon. The field trials of EPN for the control of A. ipsilon also showed that S. carpocapsae Mex and H. indica LN2 reduced the damage caused by A. ipsilon and increased the cabbage yield when compared with the control. Both EPN isolates showed better control effects than cyfluthrin and Bacillus thuringiensis, indicating that these two EPN isolates could be used for sustainable control of A. ipsilon in vegetable fields in China.

Affiliations: 1: Guangdong Entomological Institute, 105 Xingang Road West, Guangzhou 510260, P.R. China


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