Influence of Salinity on Survival and Infectivity of Entomopathogenic: Nematodes

  • Graham S. Thurston
  • Yansong Ni
  • Harry K. Kaya


Exposure to NaC1, KCI, and CaCl[sub2] affected the entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema glaseri differently. Survival, virulence, and penetration efficiency of S. glaseri were not affected by these salts. At high concentrations, however, all three salts inhibited its ability to move through a soil column and locate and infect a susceptible host. Calcium chloride and KCl had no effect on H. bacteriophora survival, penetration efficiency, or movement through a soil column, but moderate concentrations of these salts enhanced H. bacteriophora virulence. NaC1, however, adversely affected each of these parameters at high salinities ( 16 dS/m). Salt effects on S. glaseri are attributed solely to interference with nematode host-finding ability, whereas the NaC1 effects on H. bacteriophora are attributed to its toxicity and possibly to interference with host-finding behavior. Key words: Entomopathogenic nematode, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, infectivity, nematode, salinity, survival, Steinernema glaseri.