Entomopathogenic nematodes in the families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae were isolated from stone-fruit orchards in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. A total of 630 soil samples (210 sites) from Catalonia and 90 soil samples (30 sites) from Murcia were evaluated resulting in 5.2% and 20% of the soils testing positive for nematodes, respectively. Ten steinernematid isolates and three heterorhabditid isolates were recovered using the Galleria mellonella baiting method. Based on morphometric data, molecular data, and cross-breeding experiments the nematode species were identified as Steinernema feltiae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. Environmental tolerance to heat, desiccation and hypoxia, the effect of temperature on infectivity and reproduction and nematode migration in sand columns were compared among isolates and one Steinernema carpocapsae strain. Results showed differences among species and a great variability within species. Beneficial traits for each strain were added up to identify a superior candidate to control Mediterranean flat-headed rootborer, Capnodis tenebrionis. When all analyzed factors were considered, three S. feltiae isolates (Bpa, Sor and M116) obtained the best scores, and when hypoxia was removed, two of the strains (Bpa and Sor) continued ranking superior to other strains. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Heat tolerance
- Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
- Steinernema carpocapsae
- Steinernema feltiae
- Vertical migration