“Nematodes Entomopathogenic, Indigenous” species found at Zamorano by the Biological Control Project


Red colored White Grub Larva (Phyllophaga spp) infected with Entomopatogen nematodes.

 

Finding indigenous biological control agents is part of the objectives of the Biological Control Project currently being implemented with funding from the Millennium Challenge Account-Honduras.  Thanks to the participation of students in professional practice at Zamorano, the biological control laboratory has successfully found an indigenous strain of Entomopatogen nematodes Heterohabditis spp. The use of native Entomopathogenic nematodes guarantees better survival and reproduction rate since they are better adapted to the climatic conditions.

In an effort to identify Entomopatogen nematodes native of Honduras, during 2007 and 2008 a series of sampling activities have been taken place at Zamorano´s campus   the process has included soil sampling in plantations where scarce or no farming practice is taking place.  These soil sampling are processed at the Biological Control Laboratory y placed in glass jars with larvae of Galleria mellonella (Pyralidae).


Former Zamorano students Edas Turcios and Rebeca Martínez have also participated in the research and were the first to recover and reproduce these Entomopatogen nematodes, repeatedly found at the same site at Zamorano´s central campus.

In order to compare its virulence against other native strains from Guatemala and Colombia,   pathogenicity tests applying this new strain are currently being performed at the lab.   Some specimens are being sent to Colombia to be identified by Adriana Saenz, an expert from the Universidad Pontificia Javeriana de Bogotá. 

Compared to other biological control methods, Entomopatogen nematodes are of recent use in agriculture.  Its use and application in biological pest control is uncommon, mostly due to the limited knowledge about them.  



 


 


2009. Millenium Challenge Account. Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

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