Turkish Journal of Biology




Several species of entomopathogenic nematodes in the families Steinernematidae (Steinernema) and Heterorhabditidae (Heterorhabditis) are being produced commercially and used as biological control agents against many soil insect pests and insects in cryptic habitats in many parts of the world. These nematodes, which are mutualistically associated with bacteria (Steinernema with Xenorhabdus bacteria and Heterorhabditis with Photorhabdus bacteria), offer a number of advantages because they have a broad host range, kill their hosts within 48 h, can be easily produced in vivo and in vitro, can be applied with standard spray equipment, are safe to humans and other non-target organisms, have no known negative effects on the environment, and do not require registration in many countries. We present a general overview on the current state of knowledge of entomopathogenic nematodes and their mutualistically associated bacteria. In addition, we examine the potential of these nematodes, which are commonly found in Turkish soils, as biological control agents against insect pests in Turkey.


Steinernema, Heterorhabditis, Biological control, Entomopathogens, Insect pests, Xenorhabdus, Photorhabdus

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