entomopathogenic nematodes

Biological control of Fuller rose beetle with beneficial nematodes by Ganpati Jagdale

Fuller rose beetle, Asynonychus godmani- Nematode Information

Fuller rose beetle, Asynonychus godmani is one of the most economically important pests of roses and citrus.  A laboratory study conducted by Morse and Lindegren (1996) showed that an entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae caused a maximum 67 and 83% mortality of three week old larvae and adults of the Fuller rose beetle, Asynonychus godmani with 500 and 150 nematode infective juveniles, respectively. Subsequent field study also showed that the application of nematodes significantly reduced the emergence of adult fuller rose beetles in the second year after nematode application. This suggests that the applied entomopathogenic nematodes were recycled and persisted in the field for two years.


Morse, J.G. and Lindegren, J.E. 1996. Suppression of fuller rose beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on citrus with Steinernema carpocapsae (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae).  Florida Entomologist 79: 373-384.

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.

Research papers presented on entomopathogenic nematodes at 51st SON Annual Meeting by Ganpati Jagdale

Research papers on entomopathogenic nematodes and their symbiotic bacteria

Following 12 research papers on entomopathogenic nematodes and their symbiotic bacteria were presented at the Society of Nematologists 51st Annual meeting, which was held in Savannah, Georgia from August 12th -15th, 2012.

  1.  Ali, J.G., Alborn, H.T., Campos-Herrera, R., Kaplan, F.,Duncan, L.W., Rodriguez-Saona, C., Koppenhöfer, A.M. and L.L. Stelinski, L.L. 2012. Herbivore induced plants volatiles and entomopathogenic nematodes as agents of plant indirect defense.
  2. Bal, H.K.,Taylor, R.A.J. and Grewal, P.S.2012. Ambush foraging entomopathogenic nematodes employ ‘sprinting emigrants’ for long distance dispersal in the absence of hosts.
  3. Blackburn, D. andAdams, B.J.2012. Evolution of virulence in an entomopathogenic nematode symbiont.
  4. Campos-Herrera, R., ElBorai, F.E. andDuncan, L.W. 2012. Manipulating soil food webs in aFloridaorganic citrus orchard to enhance biocontrol by entomopathogenic nematodes.
  5. Dillman, A., Mortazavi, A., Hallem, E. and Paul W. Sternberg, P.W. 2012. Host-seeking, olfaction, foraging strategies, and the genomic architecture of parasitism among Steinernema nematodes.
  6. Griffin, C.T., Dillon, A.m.,Harvey, C.D. and C.D. Williams, C.D. 2012. Multitrophic interactions involving entomopathogenic nematodes applied against pine weevils in a forest ecosystem.
  7. Lancaster, J.D, Mohammad, B. and Abebe, E. 2012. Entomopathogenic symbiosis of Caenorhabditis briggsae KT0001 and Serratia sp. SCBI: Analysis of fitness.
  8. Noguez, J., Conner, E.S., Zhou, Y., Ciche, T.A., Ragains, J.R. and Butcher, R.A. 2012.  A novel ascaroside controls the parasitic life cycle of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora.
  9. Pathak, E., Campos-Herrera, R., ElBorai, F.E., Stuart,R.J., Graham, J.H. andDuncan, L.W. 2012. Environmental factors affecting community structure of nematophagus fungi and their prey inFloridacitrus groves.
  10. Shapiro-Ilan, D.I., Leskey, T.C., Wright, S.E., Brown,I.and Fall, L. 2012. Entomophathogenic nematodes: Effects of the soil agroecosystem on biological control potential.
  11. Somasekhar Nethi, S. Jagdale, G.B. and Grewal, P.S. 2012. Interactions among entomopathogenic nematodes and other nematode trophic groups and plants in agroecosystems.
  12. Zeng Qi Zhao, Z.Q., Davies, K.A., Brenton-Rule, E.C., Grangier, J., Gruber, M.A.M., Giblin-Davis, R.M. and Lester, P.J. 2012. New Diploscapter sp. (Rhabditida: Diploscapteridae) from the native ant, Prolasius advenus, inNew Zealand.

Seminars on Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Multitrophic interactions in the soil by Ganpati Jagdale

Symposium on Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Multitrophic interactions- nematodeinformation Three researchers including Raquel Campos-Herrera, Claudia Dolinski and Ganpati B. Jagdale have organized a Symposium entitled “Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Multitrophic interactions in the Rhizosphere” at the Society of Nematologists 51st Annual meeting, which would be held in Savannah, Georgia from August 12th to 15th 2012.  In this symposium, four seminar on the following research areas will be presented by different speakers starting at  8.0am on Tuesday August 14, 2012, Marriot Riverfront hotel, Savanna, GA.


Seminar topics and speakers:

  1. Multitrophic interactions involving entomopathogenic nematodes applied against pine weevils in a forest ecosystem by Christine T. Griffin, A.M. Dillon, C.D. Harvey and C.D. Williams.
  2. Entomophathogenic nematodes: Effects of the soil agroecosystem on biological control potential by David I. Shapiro-Ilan, T.C. Leskey, S.E. Wright, I. Brown, and L. Fall.
  3. Interactions among entomopathogenic nematodes and other nematode trophic groups and plants in agroecosystems by Somasekhar Nethi, G.B. Jagdale and P.S. Grewal.
  4. Herbivore induced plants volatiles and entomopathogenic nematodes as agents of plant indirect defense by Jared G. Ali, H.T. Alborn, R. Campos-Herrera, F. Kaplan, L.W. Duncan, C. Rodriguez-Saona, A.M. Koppenhöfer, and L.L. Stelinski.

Use of real-time PCR in insect nematology by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes and RT-PCR- nematodeinformation

Read following papers on the real-time PCR and Insect Nematology

Bae, S. and Kim, Y. 2003.   Lysozyme of the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua: activity induction and cDNA structure. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology B-Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 135: 511-519.

Campos-Herrera R, El-Borai F.E., Stuart R.J., Graham J.H., DuncanL.W. 2011. Entomopathogenic nematodes, phoretic Paenibacillus spp., and the use of real time quantitative PCR to explore soil food webs inFlorida citrus groves. Journal Invertebrate Pathology 108:30-9.

Campos-Herrera, R., Johnson, E. G, El-Borai, F. E., Stuart, R. J., Graham, J. H. and Duncan, L. W.2011. Long-term stability of entomopathogenic nematode spatial patterns in soil as measured by sentinel insects and real-time PCR. Annals of Applied Biology 158: 55-68.

Ciche, T.A. and Sternberg, P.W. 2007.  Postembryonic RNAi in Heterorhabditis bacteriophora: a nematode insect parasite and host for insect pathogenic symbionts. BMC Developmental Biology 7, Article Number: 101.

Ji, D.J. and Kim, Y. 2004.   An entomopathogenic bacterium, Xenorhabdus nematophila, inhibits the expression of an antibacterial peptide, cecropin, of the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua. Journal of Insect Physiology 50: 489-496.

Park, D., Ciezki, K., van der Hoeven, R., Singh, S., Reimer, D., Bode, H.B. and Forst, S. 2009. Genetic analysis of xenocoumacin antibiotic production in the mutualistic bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila. Molecular Microbiology 73: 938-949.

Pathak, E., El-Borai, F.E., Campos-Herrera, R., Johnson, E.G., Stuart, R.J., Graham, J.H. and Duncan, L.W. 2012.  Use of real-time PCR to discriminate parasitic and saprophagous behaviour by nematophagous fungi.  Fungal Biology 116: 563-573.

Shrestha, Y.K. and Lee, K.Y. 2012. Oral toxicity of Photorhabdus culture media on gene expression of the adult sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 109: 91-96.

Son, Y. and Kim, Y. 2011.  Immunosuppression induced by entomopathogens is rescued by addition of apolipophorin III in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 106: 217-222.

Song, C.J., Seo, S., Shrestha, S. and Kim, Y.  2011. Bacterial Metabolites of an Entomopathogenic bacterium, Xenorhabdus nematophila, inhibit a catalytic activity of phenoloxidase of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 21: 317-322.

Torr, P., Spiridonov, S.E., Heritage, S. and Wilson, M.J. 2007. Habitat associations of two entomopathogenic nematodes: a quantitative study using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reactions. Journal of Animal Ecology 76: 238-245.

We know now where infective juveniles store their symbiotic bacteria by Ganpati Jagdale

It has been always reported that the infective juveniles of Steinernema spp. carry their symbiotic bacteria, Xenorhabdus spp. in a special intestinal vesicle (Bird and Akhurst, 1983) whereas the infective juveniles of Heterorhabdits spp. carry their symbiotic bacteria, Photorhabdus spp. in the anterior part of the intestine (Boemare et al., 1996) and release them in the body cavity of their insect hosts.

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Why scavengers avoid eating beneficial nematode infected insect cadavers by Ganpati Jagdale

As we know that the entomopathogenic (beneficial) nematode infected insect cadavers are like pouches that are filled with different developing stages of entomopathogenic nematodes such as Steinernema spp or Heterorhabditis spp and soup of their multiplying symbiotic bacteria in the genera Xenorhabdus or Photorhabdus, respectively. 

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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.

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 white grub with beneficial nematodes-Nematode information by Ganpati Jagdale

Efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes against white grub, Holotrichia longipennis Today, I read a paper published in Journal of Pest Science by Khatri-Chhetri et al. (2011), who tested the efficacy of two newly isolated entomopathogenic nematode species from Nepal against white grub, Holotrichia longipennis.  This white grub is a very serious pest of many crops including black gram, cabbage, chilies, maize, millet, paddy soybean and tomato. 

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A new entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis atacamensis from Chile by Ganpati Jagdale

An entomopathogenic nematode, Heterorhabditis atacamensis- Nematode Information New entomopathogenic nematode species was found in the soil collected from Atacama Desert in Chile and was named after Atacama Desert as Heterorhabditis atacamensis. I like the way nematode taxonomists (Edgington et al., 2011) used individual morphological characteristics to differentiate this new species from other morphologically similar species of entomopathogenic nematodes. For example, these researchers showed that the H. atacamensis differed from H. marelatus, H. downesi and H. amazonensis based on position of hemizonid (a nematode sensory organ), position of excretory pore and female tail terminus shape, and number and position of genital papillae, respectively.  Using molecular techniques, Edgington et al. (2011) were also able to distinguish H. atacamensis from closely related entomopathogenic nematode species, H. safricana.

 Research Paper

Edgington, S., Buddie, A. G., Moore, D., France, A., Merino, L. and Hunt, D. J. 2011. Heterorhabditis atacamensis n. sp (Nematoda: Heterorhabditidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from the Atacama Desert, Chile. Journal of Helminthology 85: 381-394.

Entomopathogenic nematodes for the control of wireworm, Agriotes lineatus by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes and Wireworms, Agriotes lineatus- Nematode Information Wireworm, Agriotes lineatus cause a tremendous loss to potato yields throughout the world. As biological control agent, entomopathogenic nematodes can serve as a safe alternative to chemical pesticides in managing wireworms and helping to increase potato yields.  It has been shown that the entomopathogenic nematode, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora can cause over 67% mortality of wireworm, Agriotes lineatus within three weeks of application (Ansari et al., 2009).


Ansari, M.A., Evans, M. and Butt, T.M. 2009. Identification of pathogenic strains of entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi for wireworm control. Crop Protection 28: 269-272.

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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Why some insect-parasitic nematodes are called entomopathogenic nematodes? by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic Nematodes- Nematode Information Insect-parasitic nematodes that belong to both Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae families are also called as entomopathogenic nematodes because they cause disease to their insect hosts with the help of mutualistically associated symbiotic bacterial pathogens.

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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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Entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema siamkayai reported from India- Nematode information by Ganpati Jagdale

A warm-adapted entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema siamkayai Tiruchirappalli strain can cause 45-100% larval mortality of various insect species including Galleria mellonellaSpodoptera exiguaCeratitis capitataCydia splendana and Tenebrio molitor when tested under laboratory conditions at temperatures between 15- 37C (Raja et al., 2011).

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Entomopathogenic nematodes for the biological control of Colorado potato beetles- Nematode information by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes and Colorado potato beetle

  • Colorado potato beetles (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) are a most damaging pest of potatoes but they can also cause a significant damage to tomatoes and eggplants.
  • Generally, both adults and larvae feed voraciously on leaves causing hundreds of millions dollars in yield loss each year in the United States.
  • Many chemical insecticides have been recommended to control these beetles but unfortunately beetles have an ability to develop resistance to insecticides.
  • Entomopathogenic nematodes as biological control agents could provide an alternative to chemical pesticides in management of Colorado potato beetles.
  • As entomopathogenic nematodes naturally found soil, they are very effective against soil dwelling stages of host insect pests.  For example, mature larvae of Colorado potato beetle that moves in the soil for pupation can be a very good target for entomopathogenic nematodes.
  • Commercially available entomopathogenic nematode species including Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema feltiae, Heterorhabditis megidis, Heterorhabditis marelata and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora have showed a very high efficacy against adult, larval and prepupal stages of Colorado potato beetles when tested in soil under laboratory conditions.


  1. Ebrahimi, L., Niknam, G. and Lewis, E. E. 2011.   Lethal and sublethal effects of Iranian isolates of Steinernema feltiae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora on the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineataBiocontrol 56: 781-788.
  2. Ebrahimi, L.,Niknam, G.and Dunphy, G.B. 2011. Hemocyte responses of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, and the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella, to the entomopathogenic nematodes, Steinernema feltiae andHeterorhabditis bacteriophora . Journal of Insect Science 11, Article Number: 75.
  3. Armer, C.A., Berry, R.E., Reed, G.L. and Jepsen, S.J. 2004.  Colorado potato beetle control by application of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis marelata and potato plant alkaloid manipulation. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 111: 47-58.
  4. Berry, R.E., Liu, J. and Reed, G. 1997.  Comparison of endemic and exotic entomopathogenic nematode species for control of Colorado potato beetle (Coleoptera : Chrysomelidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 90: 1528-1533.
  5. Cantelo, W.W. and Nickle, W.R. 1992. Susceptibility of prepupae of the Colorado potato beetle (coleoptera, chrysomelidae) to entomopathogenic nematodes (Rhabditida, Steinernematidae, Heterorhabditidae). Journal of Entomological Science. 27: 37-43.
  6. Nickle, W.R., Connick, W.J. and Cantelo, W.W. 1994. Effects of pesta-pelletized Steinernema-carpocapsae (all) on western corn rootworms and colorado potato beetles. Journal of Nematology. 26: 249-250.
  7. Trdan, S., Vidrih, M., Andjus, L. and Laznik, Z. 2009. Activity of four entomopathogenic nematode species against different developmental stages of Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae. Helminthologia. 46: 14-20.

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 nematode Steinernema carpocapsae for the control of red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus- Nematode Information by Ganpati Jagdale

It has been demonstrated that the curative applications of the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae in a chitosan formulation can reduce the population of red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus infesting Cretan Date Palm, Phoenix theophrasti (Dembilio et al., 2011). Read following papers for more information.

Dembilio, O., Karamaouna, F., Kontodimas, D. C., Nomikou, M. and Jacas, J. A. 2011.  Short communication. Susceptibility of Phoenix theophrasti (Palmae: Coryphoideae) to Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and its control using Steinernema carpocapsae in a chitosan formulation. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 9: 623-626.

Dembilio, O., Llacer, E., de Altube, M.D.M. and Jacas, J.A. 2010.  Field efficacy of imidacloprid and Steinernema carpocapsae in a chitosan formulation against the red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Phoenix. Pest Management Science 66: 365-370.