Insects (2020) 11 (11 - 804)

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Giulia Torrini, Francesco Paoli, Giuseppe Mazza, Stefania Simoncini, Claudia Benvenuti, Agostino Strangi, Eustachio Tarasco, Gian Paolo Barzanti, Giovanni Bosio, Ilaria Cutino, Pio F. Roversi and Leonardo Marianelli (2020)
Evaluation of indigenous entomopathogenic nematodes as potential biocontrol agents against Popillia japonica (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in northern Italy
Insects 11 (11 - 804)
Abstract: The natural presence of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) has been investigated in the Piedmont region (Northern Italy) in areas infested by the Japanese beetle Popillia japonica. Thirty-nine out of 155 soil samples (25.2%) were positive for EPNs. Most of the samples contained only steinermatids (92.3%), 5.1% contained heterorhabditids, and one sample (2.6%) contained both genera. All the recovered isolates were identified at species level both morphologically and molecularly. Steinernema carpocapsae was the most abundant and it was mainly distributed in open habitats, such as perennial meadows, uncultivated soils, and cropland, characterized by sandy loam soil texture and acidic pH. Steinernema feltiae has been found associated mainly with closed habitats such as coniferous and deciduous woodland, characterized by sandy loam-texture and extremely acidic soil. The three isolates of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora were collected only in open habitats (perennial meadows and uncultivated fields) characterized by strongly acidic soils with sandy loam texture. The virulence of all EPN natural strains was evaluated by laboratory assays against P. japonica third-instar larvae collected during two different periods of the year (spring, autumn). The results showed that larval mortality was higher for pre-wintering larvae than post-wintering ones. The five more promising EPN isolates were tested in the semi-field assay in which H. bacteriophora natural strains have been shown to be more efficient in controlling P. japonica grubs. All of these results are finally discussed considering the use of these natural EPNs as biological control agents against P. japonica, within an eco-friendly perspective of management.
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Full text of article
Database assignments for author(s): Giulia Torrini, Francesco Paoli, Giuseppe Mazza, Pio Federico Roversi

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
evaluation - screening - selection

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Popillia japonica Italy
Heterorhabditis bacteriophora/Photorhabdus (entomopathogen) Popillia japonica Italy