entomopathogenic nematodes

Four beneficial nematodes from Portugal by Ganpati Jagdale

Four beneficial nematodes including Heterorhabditis bacteriophoraSteinernema feltiaeSteinernema intermedium and Steinernema kraussei have been reported from Portugal. 

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Three beneficial natural enemies for crane fly Tipula paludosa control by Ganpati Jagdale

Crane flies Tipula paludosa are one of important pests of turfgrass. Only larval stages (Fig. 1) of crane fly cause damage to turfgrass.  Crane fly adults are harmless to plants (Fig. 2). Crane fly larvae mainly feed on turfgrass roots and crowns but some time they can also feed on the turfgrass foliage.  The main symptom of crane fly damage that you will notice is the bare patches of dead turf in your lawn or golf courses.

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Influence of entomopathogenic nematodes on reproduction of Rhipicephalus microplus by Ganpati Jagdale

Tick, Rhipicephalus microplus is one of most import insect pests of live stocks including cattle, buffalo, horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, deer, pigs and dogs. This tick is known for transmitting cattle fever, which is caused by the protozoal parasites including Babesia bigemina and Babesia bovis.

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Efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes against cigarette beetles by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes and cigarette beetles

Cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne is an economically important pest of stored tobacco but it can also cause damage to different cereal grains, oilseeds, flour and different kinds of dry fruits.  A laboratory study showed that the entomopathogenic nematodes including Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Heterorhabditis megidis, Steinernema carpocapsae and Steinernema feltiae have a potential to use as biological agents against cigarette beetles, L. serricorne (Rumbos and Athanassiou, 2012).


Rumbos, C.I. and Athanassiou, C.G.  2012. Insecticidal effect of six entomopathogenic nematode strains against Lasioderma serricorne (F.) (Coleoptera: Anobiidae) and Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Journal of Stored Products Research 50: 21-26.

A novel entomopathogenic nematode formulation to attract insect pests by Ganpati Jagdale

Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera and entomopathogenic nematodes

In this formulation, entomopathogenic nematodes were encapsulated in the capsules, which were prepared from several compounds including a polysaccharide extracted from the algae, Laminaria spp. According to Hiltpold et al., (2012), these entomopathogic nematode-filled capsules are easy to apply in the field and from these capsules entomopathogenic nematodes can easily break through, and successfully infect insect pests such as Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera. Also, these nematode-filled capsules can attract insect pests in the field if they are coated with insect food stimulant or attractants.


Hiltpold, I., Hibbard, B.E., French, B.W. and Turlings, T.C.J. 2012. Capsules containing entomopathogenic nematodes as a Trojan horse approach to control the western corn rootworm. Plant and Soil 358: 10-24.

Steinernema feltiae attracts to cues from slugs by Ganpati Jagdale

Scavenging and entomopathogenic nematodes

It has been demonstrated that an entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema feltiae that only infect and kill their insect host but it can also be attracted to the cues released from the slug cadavers suggesting that entomopathogenic nematodes can feed on carcasses of other organisms (Nermut et al., 2012).

Read following literature on scavenging behavior and entomopathogenic nematodes

Baur, M.E., Kaya, H.K. and Strong, D.R. 1998. Foraging ants as scavengers on entomopathogenic nematode-killed insects. Biological Control 12: 231-236.

Foltan, P. and Puza, V. 2009. To complete their life cycle, pathogenic nematode-bacteria complexes deter scavengers from feeding on their host cadaver.  Behavioural Processes 80: 76-79.

Nermut, J., Puza, V. and Mracek, Z. 2012.  The response of Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita (Nematoda: Rhabditidae) and Steinernema feltiae (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) to different host-associated cues. Biological Control 61: 201-206.

Puza, V. and Mracek, Z. 2010.   Does scavenging extend the host range of entomopathogenic nematodes (Nematoda: Steinernematidae)?  Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 104: 1-3

San-Blas, E. and Gowen, S.R. 2008.   Facultative scavenging as a survival strategy of entomopathogenic nematodes. International Journal for Parasitology 38: 85-91.

San-Blas, E. and Gowen, S.R. and Pembroke, B. 2008.  Scavenging or infection? Possible host choosing by entomopathogenic nematodes. Nematology 10: 251-259.

Insecticidal and antimicrobial compounds from Xenorhabdus budapestensis by Ganpati Jagdale

It has been reported that an entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema bicornutum is effective against western flower thripsFrankliniella occidentalis (Ebssa et al., 2004) and western corn rootwormDiabrotica virgifera virgifera (Toepfer et al., 2005).  The infective juveniles of S. bicornutum carry symbiotic bacteria, Xenorhabdus budapestensis in their gut (Lengyel et al., 2005) and use them to kill their insect host.

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Temperature influences the virulence of beneficial nematodes against mustard beetles by Ganpati Jagdale

Interaction between entomopathogenic nematodes and mustard beetles- Nematodeinformation It has been demonstrated that the virulence of Heterorhabditis indica and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora against the pupae of mustard beetle, Phaedon cochleariae was high at 30oC but the virulence of Steinernema carpocapsae and Steinernema feltiae was high at 25oC (Mahar et al., 2012).


Mahar, A.N., Jan, N.D. and Mahar, A.Q. 2012.  Comparative effectiveness of entomopathogenic nematodes against the pupae of mustard beetle, Phaedon cochleariae F. (Chrysomelidae: Coleoptera). Pakistan Journal of Zoology 44: 517-523.

Control sugarcane billbug, Sphenophorus levis with beneficial nematodes by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes and the sugarcane billbug, Sphenophorus levis- Nematode Information Sugarcane is grown as an important cash crop in many countries but insect pests like the sugarcane billbug, Sphenophorus levis can cause a tremendous yield loss to this crop. Entomopathogenic nematodes have a great potential to use as a biological control agent against the sugarcane bill bugs. Recently, Giometti et al. (2011) reported that entomopathogenic nematodes including Steinernema brazilense strain IBCB n6 and three strains of Heterorhabditis sp. (IBCB n10, IBCB n24 and IBCB n44) were highly virulent causing over 60% mortality of adults of the sugarcane billbug. Sphenophorus levis.  


Giometti, FHC, Leite, LG., Tavares, FM., Schmit, F.S., Batista, A. and Dell'Acqua, R. 2011.  Virulence of entomopathogenic nematodes (Nematoda: Rhabditida) against Sphenophorus levis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).   Bragantia 70: 81-86.

How entomopathogenic nematodes enter into host body- Nematode information? by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes- Mode of Infection In the soil environment, infective juveniles of entomopathogenic nematodes (Figure 1.) are always searching for the insect hosts to infect, kill, feed and reproduce.  Once the infective juveniles of both Steinernematid (Steinernema spp.) and Heterorhabditid (Heterorhabditis spp.) nematodes locate any larval, pupal or adult stages of their insect host, they will rush to find any easy entry routes/points to enter into the insect host body. 

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Biological control of stored grain pests with Entomopathogenic nematodes by Ganpati Jagdale

Stored grain/ product pests: Nematode Information Several stored grain/product insect pests like Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella)Mediterranean flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella)Sawtoothed grain beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis)Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor)Red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) and Warehouse beetle (Trogoderma variabile) attack and destroy large quantities of stored grains and products during long-term storage in farm bins, grain processing facilities, warehouses, retail stores, and eventually also on the consumer shelves. 

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Virulence Mechanisms of symbiotic bacteria Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus spp by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes and their symbiotic bacteria- Nematode Information

Molecular studies demonstrated that the closely related Photorhabdus, symbiotic bacteria of Heterorhabditis nematodes and Xenorhabdus, symbiotic bacteria of Steinernematid nematodes have developed totally different molecular strategies for the same objective of virulence to insects and symbiosis with the nematode.

These findings were presented by An, R. and Grewal, P.S. at the 50th annual meeting of the Society of Nematologists held in Corvallis, Oregon from July 17-20, 2011.

Occurrence of entomopathogenic nematodes in Egypt: Nematode Information by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes from Egypt

The occurrence and distribution of entomopathogenic nematodes including Heterorhabditis indica, Steinernema abbasi and Steinernema carpocapsae have been reported from four geographical regions (Northern, Middle, Southern and Sinai Peninsula) of Egypt.

These findings were presented by Abu-Shady, N.M., Shamseldean, M.M., Abd-Elbary, N.A. and Stock, S.P. at the 50th annual meeting of the Society of Nematologists held in Corvallis, Oregon from July 17-20, 2011.

Entomopathogenic nematodes for the biological control of False codling moth- Nematode information by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes and False codling moth
  • A presence of entomopathogenic nematode species including Steinernema khoisanae, Steinernema yirgalemense, Steinernema citrae, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Heterorhabditis zealandica have been reported in citrus orchards in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa (Malan et al., 2011).
  • All the above nematode species have showed a very high virulence against false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta an economically important pest of citrus in South Africa.  For example, S. yirgalemense can cause over 74% mortality of both larval and pupal mortality of false codling moth when applied at the rate of 50-200 infective juveniles/ larval or pupal stages of false codling moth.
  • Two entomopathogenic nematode species including S. yirgalemense and S. citrae were reported for the first time from South Africa (Malan et al., 2011).

Read following papers on entomopathogenic nematodes from South Africa

de Waal, J.Y., Malan, A.P. and Addison, M.F. 2011.  Evaluating mulches together with Heterorhabditis zealandica (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) for the control of diapausing codling moth larvae, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).  Biocontrol Science and Technology 21: 255-270.

de Waal, J.Y., Malan, A.P., Levings, J. and Addison, M.F. 2010.  Key elements in the successful control of diapausing codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in wooden fruit bins with a South African isolate of Heterorhabditis zealandica (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae). Biocontrol Science and Technology. 20: 489-502.

Hatting, J., Stock, S.P. and Hazir, S.  2009. Diversity and distribution of entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernematidae, Heterorhabditidae) in South Africa.  Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 102: 120-128.

Malan, A.P., Knoetze, R. and Moore, S.D.  2011.  Isolation and identification of entomopathogenic nematodes from citrus orchards in South Africa and their biocontrol potential against false codling moth. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 108: 115-125.

Malan, A.P., Nguyen, K. B. and Addison, M. F. 2006.  Entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) from the southwestern parts of South Africa. African Plant Protection 12: 65-69.

Malan, A.P., Nguyen, K.B., de Waal, J.Y. and Tiedt, L. 2008. Heterorhabditis safricana n. sp (Rhabditida : Heterorhabditidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from South Africa. Nematology 10: 381-396.

Entomopathogenic nematode identification with a quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes and qPCR Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) technique can be used for the identification of entomopathogenic nematodes in the both Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematodae families directly from soil samples.

Species specific primers and TaqMan (R) probes from the ITS rDNA region for the EPNs were used for the identification of four species of entomopathogenic nematodes including Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema feltiae and Steinernema scapterisci (Campos-Herrera et al., 2011).

A publication on indentification of entomopathogenic nematodes using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) technique.

Campos-Herrera, R., El-Borai, F.E., Stuart, R.J., Graham, J.H. and Duncan, L.W. 2011.   Entomopathogenic nematodes, phoretic Paenibacillus spp., and the use of real time quantitative PCR to explore soil food webs in Florida citrus groves. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 108: 30-39.

Entomopathogenic nematodes for the biological control of alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica by Ganpati Jagdale

Heterorhabditis indica and Steinernema carpocapsae for controlling alfalfa weevil Application of Heterorhabditis indica and S. carpocapase at the rate 1 billion nematodes per hectare can reduce 72 and 50% population of alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica grubs, respectively.  Another entomopathogenic nematode, Steinemema thermophillum was also effective in killing H. postica grubs (Shah et al., 2011).

Read following paper for information on the effect of entomopathogenic nematodes on alfalfa weevil

Shah, N.K., Azmi, M.I. and Tyagi, P.K. 2011. Pathogenicity of Rhabditid nematodes (Nematoda: Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae) to the grubs of alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Range Management and Agroforestry 32: 64-67.

Entomopathogenic nematodes can be delivered through infected insect cadavers in commercial growing media by Ganpati Jagdale

Recently, Deol et al. (2011) demonstrated that entomopathogenic nematodes, Steinernema carpocapsae, can be delivered via infected Galleria mellonella or Tenebrio molitor cadavers in the Scotts commercial growing medium, Miracle-Gro (R). Read following papers for more information on delivery of entomopathogenic nematodes using nematode infected cadavers

Ansari, M.A., Hussain, M. and Moens, M. 2009.  Formulation and application of entomopathogenic nematode-infected cadavers for control of Hoplia philanthus in turf grass. Pest Management Science. 65: 367-374.

Bruck, D.J., Shapiro-Ilan, D.I. and Lewis, E.E. 2005.   Evaluation of application technologies of entomopathogenic nematodes for control of the black vine weevil.  Journal of Economic Entomology 98: 1884-1889.

Deol, Y.S., Jagdale, G.B., Canas, L. and Grewal, P.S. 2011. Delivery of entomopathogenic nematodes directly through commercial growing media via the inclusion of infected host cadavers: A novel. Biological Control 58: 60-67.

Shapiro-Ilan, D.I., Morales-Ramos, J.A., Rojas, M.G. and Tedders, W.L. 2010.  Effects of a novel entomopathogenic nematode-infected host formulation on cadaver integrity, nematode yield, and suppression of Diaprepes abbreviatus and Aethina tumidaJournal of Invertebrate Pathology. 103: 103-108.

Spence, K.O., Stevens, G.N., Arimoto, H., Ruiz-Vega, J.,   Kaya, H.K. and Lewis, E.E. 2011.   Effect of insect cadaver desiccation and soil water potential during rehydration on entomopathogenic nematode (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) production and virulence. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 106: 268-273.

Spence, K.O., Stevens, G.N., Arimoto, H., Ruiz-Vega, J., Kaya, H.K. and Lewis, E.E. 2011.  Effect of insect cadaver desiccation and soil water potential during rehydration on entomopathogenic nematode (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) production and virulence. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 106: 268-273.

Antimicrobial activities of symbiotic bacteria of entomopathogenic nematodes by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematode symbiotic bacteria and antimicrobial activity The compounds produced by entomopathogenic nematode symbiotic bacteria Xenorhabdus bovienii have showed antimicrtobial activity against two fungus species including Botrytis cinerea and Phytophthora capsici (Fang et al., 2011).  Both of these fungi causes diseases to many plant species.

Publications on antimicrobial activity of entomopathogenic nematode symbiotic bacteria.

  1. Fang, X. L., Feng, J. T., Zhang, W. G., Wang, Y. H. and Zhang, X. 2010. Optimization of growth medium and fermentation conditions for improved antibiotic activity of Xenorhabdus nematophila TB using a statistical approach.  African Journal of Biotechnology 9: 8068-8077.
  2. Fang, X.L., Li, Z.Z., Wang, Y.H. and Zhang, X. 2011.   In vitro and in vivo antimicrobial activity of Xenorhabdus bovienii YL002 against Phytophthora capsici and Botrytis cinerea. Journal of Applied Microbiology 111: 145-154.
  3. Furgani, G., Boeszoermenyi, E., Fodor, A., Mathe-Fodor, A., Forst, S., Hogan, J.S., Katona, Z.,  Klein, M.G., Stackebrandt, E., Szentirmai, A., Sztaricskai, F. and Wolf, S. L. 2008.  Xenorhabdus antibiotics: a comparative analysis and potential utility for controlling mastitis caused by bacteria.  Journal of Applied Microbiology 104: 745-758.
  4. Isaacson, P.J. and Webster, J.M. 2002.  Antimicrobial activity of Xenorhabus sp RIO (Enterobacteriaceae), symbiont of the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema riobrave (Rhabditida : Steinernematidae). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 79: 146-153.
  5. Wang, Y.H., Fang, X.L., Li, Y.P. and Zhang, X. 2010.  Effects of constant and shifting dissolved oxygen concentration on the growth and antibiotic activity of Xenorhabdus nematophila. Bioresource Technology 101: 7529-7536.
  6. Wang, Y.H., Feng, J.T., Zhang, Q. and Zhang, X. 2008.  Optimization of fermentation condition for antibiotic production by Xenorhabdus nematophila with response surface methodology. Journal of Applied Microbiology 104s: 735-744.
  7. Yang, X.F., Qiu, D.W., Yang, H.W., Liu, Z., Zeng, H.M. and Yuan, J.J. 2011.  Antifungal activity of xenocoumacin 1 from Xenorhabdus nematophilus var. pekingensis against Phytophthora infestans. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 27: 523-528.

Entomopathogenic nematodes symposia at 50th Annual Meeting of the Society of Nematologists held in Corvallis, Oregon (July 17-20, 2011) by Ganpati Jagdale

Four symposia on entomopathogenic nematodes were organized by Drs. Ganpati B. Jagdale, Raquel Campos-Herrera, Claudia Dolinski, David I. Shapiro-Ilan and Parwinder S. Grewal at 50th Annual meeting of the Society of Nematologists which was held at the Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon from July 17 to July 20, 2011. A total of 22 invited speakers shared their research and extension experience in the field of Entomopathogenic Nematology.  Following is a list of topics covered by various speakers in each symposium.

SYMPOSIUM I: Entomopathogenic Nematodes as Model Systems in Ecology

Convener: Raquel Campos-Herrera.

Poinar, G.O.Jr. 2011.  Legacy of entomopathogenic nematology: The early Years (1930-1990).

Barbercheck, M. 2011.  Peering into the black box: building an understanding of the population biology of entomopathogenic nematodes.

Stock, P. 2011.  Entomopathogenic nematodes and their bacterial Symbionts: how many, where and how?

Griffin, C. 2011.  Behavioural ecology of entomopathogenic nematodes: Past, present and future.

Hoy, C.W. and Grewal, P.S. 2011.  Entomopathogenic nematode ecological modeling, from frontiers of Ecology to the future of agriculture.

Gaur, H. 2011.  The impact of climate change on plant-parasitic nematodes.

SYMPOSIUM II: Entomopathogenic Nematodes as Model Systems in Stress Physiology and Evolutionary Biology

Conveners: Ganpati B. Jagdale and Parwinder S. Grewal

Grewal, P.S. 2011. Entomopathogenic nematology since the 1990’s: the openings of a new era.

Itamar Glazer, I. 2011.  How to manage daily stresses: the entomopathogenic nematode perspective.

Perry, R. N. and Ehlers, R.-U.  2011. Enhancing survival attributes of entomopathogenic Nematodes.

Adler R. Dillman, A.R., Mortazavi, A. and Sternberg, P.W. 2011. Genomic analysis of steinernema: informing functional Biology and Ecology.

Sternberg, P.W. and Xiaodong Bai, X. 2011. Genome sequencing and beyond.

SYMPOSIUM III: Entomopathogenic Nematodes as Model Systems: Contributions to Symbiosis

Convener: Raquel Campos-Herrera

Somvanshi,V.S., Sloup, R. E., Crawford, J.M., Martin, A. R., Heidt, A.J., Clardy, J.C. and Ciche, T.A. 2011. How Heterorhabditis Bacteriophora handle their insect pathogenic symbionts.

Goodrich-Blair, H. and Forst, S. 2011. Understanding microbial symbiosis using the association between Xenorhabdus bacteria and Steinernema nematodes.

Clarke, D.J. 2011. The regulation of symbiosis in Photorhabdus.

An, R. and P.S. Grewal, P.S. 2011. In-vivo gene expression reveals differences in molecular features used by Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus for virulence and symbiosis.

ffrench-Constant, R.H., Wilkinson, P. and Dowling, A.J. 2011. The worm that turned: bacterial symbionts of entomopathogenic nematodes as a potent source of novel bacterial toxins.

SYMPOSIUM IV: Entomopathogenic Nematodes as Biological Control Agents in Sustainable Agriculture.

Convener: Claudia Dolinski

Georgis, R. 2011.  Commercialization of entomopathogenic nematodes: an insider’s perspective.

Lacey, L.A. and Koppenhöfer, A.M. 2011.  Successes with entomopathogenic nematodes for control of insect pests above and below ground.

Han, R. 2011.  Production technology and field application of entomopathogenic nematodes in china.

Shapiro-Ilan, D. I. and Dolinski, C. 2011.  Application technology for entomopathogenic nematodes.

Ganguly, S. and Dolinski, C. 2011.  New advances in entomopathogenic nematodes around the world.

Duncan, L. 2011.  Grower acceptance of entomopathogenic nematodes in Florida.

Please see the official program booklet of the Society of Nematologists for the abstracts of individual talks.

Influence of potting media on the virulence of entomopathogenic nematodes against black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus by Ganpati Jagdale

It has been demonstrated that five different types of commercial potting media including peat, bark, coir, and peat blended with 10% and 20% compost green waste can influence the virulence of entomopathogenic nematodes against third-instar black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus.  For example, Heterorhabditis species including Heterorhabditis bacteriophora UWS1 strain, H. megidis, H. downesi can cause 100% mortality of black vine weevil grubs in all the five types of media but  Steinernema species including Steinernema feltiae, S. carpocapsae, and S. kraussei can cause 100% black vine weevil grub mortality only in the peat blended with 20% compost green waste.  These results suggest that when growers are selecting entomopathogenic nematodes to control black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus in their nurseries/greenhouses, they should take into consideration the type of potting media used in growing their plants. Please read following paper for the information on the method of nematode application rates and timings.

Ansari, M. A. and Butt, T. M. 2011.  Effect of potting media on the efficacy and dispersal of entomopathogenic nematodes for the control of black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Biological Control 58: 310-318.

Ansari, M.A., Shah, F.A. and Butt, T.M. 2010.  The entomopathogenic nematodeSteinernema kraussei and Metarhizium anisopliae work synergistically in controlling overwintering larvae of the black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus, in strawberry growbags. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 20: 99-105.