Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Bacteria Applications for Control of the Pecan Root-Knot Nematode, <I>Meloidogyne partityla</I> , in the Greenhouse


  • David I. Shapiro-Ilan
  • Andrew P. Nyczepir
  • Edwin E. Lewis


Biological control, entomopathogenic nematode, Meloidogyne partityla, pecan, Steinernema, Xenorhabdus


Meloidogyne partityla is a parasite of pecan and walnut. Our objective was to determine interactions between the entomopathogenic nematode-bacterium complex and M. partityla. Specifically, we investigated suppressive effects of Steinernema feltiae (strain SN) and S. riobrave (strain 7-12) applied as infective juveniles and in infected host insects, as well as application of S. feltiae's bacterial symbiont Xenorhabdus bovienii on M. partityla. In two separate greenhouse trials, the treatments were applied to pecan seedlings that were simultaneously infested with M. partityla eggs; controls received only water and M. partityla eggs. Additionally, all treatment applications were re-applied (without M. partityla eggs) two months later. Four months after initial treatment, plants were assessed for number of galls per root system, number of egg masses per root system, number of eggs per root system, number of eggs per egg mass, number of eggs per gram dry root weight, dry shoot weight, and final population density of M. partityla second-stage juveniles (J2). In the first trial, the number of egg masses per plant was lower in the S. riobrave-infected host treatment than in the control (by approximately 18%). In the second trial, dry root weight was higher in the S. feltiae-infected host treatment than in the control (approximately 80% increase). No other treatment effects were detected. The marginal and inconsistent effects observed in our experiments indicate that the treatments we applied are not sufficient for controlling M. partityla.