Influence of Soil pH and Oxygen on Persistence of Steinernema spp.
AbstractSurvival of infective juveniles of Steinernema carpocapsae and Steinernema glaseri gradually declined during 16 weeks of observation as the tested soil pH decreased from pH 8 to pH 4. Survival of both species of Steinernema dropped sharply after 1 week at pH 10. Survival or S. carpocapsae and S. glaseri was similar at pH 4, 6, and 8 during the first 4 weeks, but S. carpocapsae survival was significantly greater than S. glaseri at pH 10 through 16 weeks. Steinernema carpocapsae and S. glaseri that had been stored at pH 4, 6, and 8 for 16 weeks, and at pH 10 for 1 or more weeks were not infective to Galleria mellonella larvae. Steinernema carpocapsae survival was significantly greater than that of S. glaseri at oxygen:nitrogen ratios of 1:99, 5:95, and 10:90 during the first 2 weeks, and survival of both nematode species declined sharply to less than 20% after 4 weeks. Survival of both nematode species significantly decreased after 8 weeks as the tested oxygen concentrations decreased from 20 to 1%, and no nematode survival was recorded after 16 weeks. Steinernema carpocapsae pathogenicity was significantly greater than that of S. glaseri during the first 2 weeks. No nematode pathogenicity was recorded at oxygen concentrations of 1, 5, and 10% after 2 weeks and at 20% after 16 weeks. Key words: entomopathogenic nematode, pathogenicity, Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema glaseri, survival.
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