Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Their Interactions with Plant Pathogens and Insecticides in the Soil
AuthorNavarro, Patricia D.
plant parasitic nematodes
AdvisorStock, S. Patricia
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 03-Dec-2013
AbstractEntomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) in the families Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae, and their bacterial symbionts, have been studied intensively because of their role as natural mortality factor for soil-dwelling arthropods, and their potential as biological control agents for belowground insect pests. Moreover, EPN are recognized as key players in regulating soil food webs and triggering trophic cascades. However, most studies of interactions with EPN have been conducted under laboratory setting and simplified conditions, without consider the dynamic of the EPN and their interactions with other soil components in a wider context. In this respect, knowledge of the effect that other soil organisms or human induced factor may have on EPN dynamic and life cycle in the soil may contribute to improve tactics for their implementation and success as natural regulators of herbivores. The present investigation focused on the interactions of EPN with a selection of insecticides, and biotic (saprobic fungus and plant parasitic nematodes) elements that may be present in the soil, and may potentially interact with EPN. Specifically, I investigated how these factors may affect the life cycle (host search behavior, virulence and reproduction) of EPN. Appendix A shows the effect that a group of selected synthetic and biological insecticides have on EPN virulence and reproduction. The results obtained from this study revealed that most combinations of EPN and insecticides under study increased the mortality of the insect host. However, it was also found that some of these combinations reduced the nematode progeny production and emergence of IJs from the insect cadaver. In contrast in Appendix B, when examining the effect of the saprobic fungus Fusarium oxysporum in the life cycle of the EPN Heterorhabditis sonorensis, it was found that this fungus negatively affected the virulence and reproduction of the EPN in the insect host. In the third study of this dissertation (Appendix C) the interactions studied considered the effect of two EPN on an organism of a different trophic guild, the plant parasitic nematode Tylenchulus semipenetrans. This plant parasitic nematode causes serious diseases in citrus plants by infecting their roots and defoliating their branches. Previous studies have shown that some EPN species may negatively affect the life cycle of plant parasitic nematodes by reducing the damage produced by this plant parasite. Results from this study confirm the antagonistic effect between the selected EPN and the citrus nematode. Specifically, it was found that the presence in the soil of both EPN reduced the survival of infective juveniles of the citrus nematode and their penetration to the root. Moreover, the presence of EPN had an antagonistic effect in the production of eggs of T. semipenetrans females.
Degree ProgramGraduate College