Nematodes as Biocontrol Agents

Tarique Hassan Askary

Abstract The high cost of chemical pesticides, their adverse effects on the environment and development of pest resistance demand an alternative approach for crop pests management, which should be ecofriendly and cost-effective. Entomopathogenic nematodes belonging to genera Steinernema and Heterorhabditis together with their symbiotic bacteria Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus, respectively, and slug-parasitic nematodes Phasmarhabditis with its symbiotic bacteria Moraxella have been considered as promising biocontrol agents for the management of crop insect pests and slugs. These nematodes have short life cycle, wide host range, and can resist under unfavourable conditions and environmental extremes. Survival and pathogenicity of these nematodes vary from 5 to 35 0°C. Nematodes can be mass produced under both in vivo and in vitro conditions. With the realization of these attributes among these bioagents there is a need to search out an ideal formulation and proper application technology to include them in pest management programme.

Keywords Bioagent • Entomopathogenic nematode • Heterorhabditis • In-vitro • In-vivo • Moraxella • Phasmarhabditis • Photorhabdus • Slug-parasitic • Steinernema • Xenorhabdus

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