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Adapted formulations for entomopathogenic nematodes, Steinernema and Heterorhabditis spp.

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The effects of carriers, temperatures, concentrations of the infective juveniles (IJ) and a fungicide on the survival and infectivity of five nematode species, Steinernema carpocapsae, S. feltiae, S. longicaudum, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and H. indica, were evaluated to establish the adapted formulations for these nematodes. Vermiculite and humus were good carriers for the storage of the three Steinernema species, with more than 90% IJ survival after 120 days at 5°C, 80 days at 15°C and at least 20 days at 25°C, and 90% survival for the storage of H. bacteriophora after 10 days at 5°C and 15°C. After 10 days at 25°C, ca 80% IJ survival was recorded for H. bacteriophora and H. indica. Although ca 90% IJ survival was found after 10 days at 15°C for H. indica, this species did not tolerate low temperature, with survival less than 40% after 10 days at 5°C. The ratios of the IJ and the carriers in the ranges of 1:0.8-1:1.2 (w/w) did not significantly influence the survival of all nematode species. The vermiculite formulation containing a fungicide Proxel GXL at concentrations of 0.1% and 0.2% increased the survival of two Heterorhabditis species. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and H. indica could be stored for 60 and 40 days, respectively, at 15°C in aerated water with 90% IJ survival, compared with the vermiculite formulation. The tested formulations did not significantly influence the infectivity of the IJ from the formulations with IJ survival more than 80%. The results provide alternative formulation methods for the commercial storage of these beneficial nematodes.

Affiliations: 1: 1South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 723 Xinke Road, Guangzhou 510650, P.R. China ; 2: 2Guangdong Key Laboratory of Animal Conservation and Resource Utilization, Guangdong Public Laboratory of Wild Animal Conservation and Utilization, Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resources, 105 Xingang Road West, Guangzhou 510260, P.R. China ; 3: 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, P.R. China

*Corresponding author, e-mail:

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