Dispersal patterns and behaviour of the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita in mineral soils and organic media

Keith MacMillan, Solveig Haukeland, Robbie Rae, Iain M. Young, John W. Crawford, Simona M. Hapca, Michael Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 22 Citations

Abstract

The commercially available parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphroditais an effective biocontrol agent for slugs and particularly Deroceras reticulatum, a widespread pest species. Use of the nematode is currently limited by cost and it may be that by developing a fuller understanding of the ecology and behaviour of this nematode, more cost effective application strategies can be developed. We investigated the ability of two strains of P. hermaphrodita (one newly isolated and one that had been maintained in vitro for >15 years) to move through mineral soils and organic media. Active dispersal of both strains was found to be greatest in organic media (bark chips and leaf litter, and to a lesser extent peat) and the nematode was capable of growth and reproduction in leaf litter. Conversely, active dispersal was poor in mineral soils. Nematodes moved further in a clay loam compared with a sandy loam, and moved more at a bulk density of 1.0 vs. 1.2 Mg m−3. However, P. hermaphrodita was capable of moving greater distances in mineral soils by using the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris as a phoretic host. Our data suggest that P. hermaphrodita is a facultative parasite that is adapted to living in leaf litter and organic material where slugs frequently rest. The implications of these findings for using the nematode as a biological control agent for slugs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1483-1490
Number of pages8
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume41
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Fingerprint

Minerals
Soil
nematode
Nematoda
Gastropoda
mineral soils
mineral
soil
Oligochaeta
Costs and Cost Analysis
slugs
plant litter
slug
leaf litter
biological control agents
cost
Biological Control Agents
Ecology
Reproduction
Parasites

Cite this

MacMillan, K., Haukeland, S., Rae, R., Young, I. M., Crawford, J. W., Hapca, S. M., & Wilson, M. (2009). Dispersal patterns and behaviour of the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita in mineral soils and organic media. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41(7), 1483-1490. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.04.007

MacMillan, Keith; Haukeland, Solveig; Rae, Robbie; Young, Iain M.; Crawford, John W.; Hapca, Simona M.; Wilson, Michael / Dispersal patterns and behaviour of the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita in mineral soils and organic media.

In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 41, No. 7, 07.2009, p. 1483-1490.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e362b05d45804f4a8de64bb3b878e783,
title = "Dispersal patterns and behaviour of the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita in mineral soils and organic media",
abstract = "The commercially available parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphroditais an effective biocontrol agent for slugs and particularly Deroceras reticulatum, a widespread pest species. Use of the nematode is currently limited by cost and it may be that by developing a fuller understanding of the ecology and behaviour of this nematode, more cost effective application strategies can be developed. We investigated the ability of two strains of P. hermaphrodita (one newly isolated and one that had been maintained in vitro for >15 years) to move through mineral soils and organic media. Active dispersal of both strains was found to be greatest in organic media (bark chips and leaf litter, and to a lesser extent peat) and the nematode was capable of growth and reproduction in leaf litter. Conversely, active dispersal was poor in mineral soils. Nematodes moved further in a clay loam compared with a sandy loam, and moved more at a bulk density of 1.0 vs. 1.2 Mg m−3. However, P. hermaphrodita was capable of moving greater distances in mineral soils by using the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris as a phoretic host. Our data suggest that P. hermaphrodita is a facultative parasite that is adapted to living in leaf litter and organic material where slugs frequently rest. The implications of these findings for using the nematode as a biological control agent for slugs are discussed.",
author = "Keith MacMillan and Solveig Haukeland and Robbie Rae and Young, {Iain M.} and Crawford, {John W.} and Hapca, {Simona M.} and Michael Wilson",
year = "2009",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.04.007",
volume = "41",
pages = "1483--1490",
journal = "Soil Biology and Biochemistry",
issn = "0038-0717",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "7",

}

MacMillan, K, Haukeland, S, Rae, R, Young, IM, Crawford, JW, Hapca, SM & Wilson, M 2009, 'Dispersal patterns and behaviour of the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita in mineral soils and organic media' Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol 41, no. 7, pp. 1483-1490. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.04.007

Dispersal patterns and behaviour of the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita in mineral soils and organic media. / MacMillan, Keith; Haukeland, Solveig; Rae, Robbie; Young, Iain M.; Crawford, John W.; Hapca, Simona M.; Wilson, Michael.

In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 41, No. 7, 07.2009, p. 1483-1490.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dispersal patterns and behaviour of the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita in mineral soils and organic media

AU - MacMillan,Keith

AU - Haukeland,Solveig

AU - Rae,Robbie

AU - Young,Iain M.

AU - Crawford,John W.

AU - Hapca,Simona M.

AU - Wilson,Michael

PY - 2009/7

Y1 - 2009/7

N2 - The commercially available parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphroditais an effective biocontrol agent for slugs and particularly Deroceras reticulatum, a widespread pest species. Use of the nematode is currently limited by cost and it may be that by developing a fuller understanding of the ecology and behaviour of this nematode, more cost effective application strategies can be developed. We investigated the ability of two strains of P. hermaphrodita (one newly isolated and one that had been maintained in vitro for >15 years) to move through mineral soils and organic media. Active dispersal of both strains was found to be greatest in organic media (bark chips and leaf litter, and to a lesser extent peat) and the nematode was capable of growth and reproduction in leaf litter. Conversely, active dispersal was poor in mineral soils. Nematodes moved further in a clay loam compared with a sandy loam, and moved more at a bulk density of 1.0 vs. 1.2 Mg m−3. However, P. hermaphrodita was capable of moving greater distances in mineral soils by using the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris as a phoretic host. Our data suggest that P. hermaphrodita is a facultative parasite that is adapted to living in leaf litter and organic material where slugs frequently rest. The implications of these findings for using the nematode as a biological control agent for slugs are discussed.

AB - The commercially available parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphroditais an effective biocontrol agent for slugs and particularly Deroceras reticulatum, a widespread pest species. Use of the nematode is currently limited by cost and it may be that by developing a fuller understanding of the ecology and behaviour of this nematode, more cost effective application strategies can be developed. We investigated the ability of two strains of P. hermaphrodita (one newly isolated and one that had been maintained in vitro for >15 years) to move through mineral soils and organic media. Active dispersal of both strains was found to be greatest in organic media (bark chips and leaf litter, and to a lesser extent peat) and the nematode was capable of growth and reproduction in leaf litter. Conversely, active dispersal was poor in mineral soils. Nematodes moved further in a clay loam compared with a sandy loam, and moved more at a bulk density of 1.0 vs. 1.2 Mg m−3. However, P. hermaphrodita was capable of moving greater distances in mineral soils by using the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris as a phoretic host. Our data suggest that P. hermaphrodita is a facultative parasite that is adapted to living in leaf litter and organic material where slugs frequently rest. The implications of these findings for using the nematode as a biological control agent for slugs are discussed.

U2 - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.04.007

DO - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.04.007

M3 - Article

VL - 41

SP - 1483

EP - 1490

JO - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

T2 - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

JF - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

SN - 0038-0717

IS - 7

ER -

MacMillan K, Haukeland S, Rae R, Young IM, Crawford JW, Hapca SM et al. Dispersal patterns and behaviour of the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita in mineral soils and organic media. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 2009 Jul;41(7):1483-1490. Available from, DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.04.007