Observations on the biology of a predatory nematode belonging to Diplogasteridae

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Colagiero, M
Rosso, LC
Ciancio, A
Murga-Gutierrez, SN
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The use of predatory nematodes as biological control agents of phytoparasitic nematodes has been re-evaluated only recently. To be effective, predatory nematodes should be easy to grow, cheap, and available on a commercial scale. In addition, they must show a reproductive rate sufficient to sustain a high population density and a significant longevity and stability for storage. The predators are not phytopathogenic nematodes, and among the positive outcomes of their introduction are remarkable their environment compatibility and safety for other non-target organisms, as well as the ability to search for prey. These features are present in Diplogasteridae. Their adaptability enables them to withstand changing climatic conditions, as well as the temporal variability between predator and prey. It should also be emphasized the ability to disperse, persist and reproduce in the absence of prey, the spectrum of action, all factors ideal for the management of phytoparasitic species. Adverse factor is cannibalism, due the lack of preys, that can reduce their biological control potential. We herein present preliminary data on occurrence, reproduction and intestine bacterial flora of the predatory nematode, Koerneria sudhausi.
Research partially funded by Bilateral Agreement CNR/CONCYTEC and MIPAF, Project BIOMED. Mr Nicola Salatino is gratefully acknowledged for the technical assistance provided during this study.
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Predation, Biocontrol, Nematodes