Influence of Soil pH and Oxygen on Persistence of Steinernema spp.


  • Shang-Ping Kung
  • Randy Gaugler
  • Harry K. Kaya


Survival 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.