Population Changes in Heterodera glycines and Its Bacterial Parasite Pasteuria sp. in Naturally Infested Soil

  • N. Atibalentja
  • G. R. Noel
  • T. F. Liao
  • G. Z. Gertner


A two-year soil sampling study was conducted on four microplots naturally infested with Heterodera glycines and an undescfibed species of Pasteuria. The objectives of the study were to investigate the population dynamics of both organisms and to assess the potential of Pasteuria sp. as a biological control agent of H. glycines. Seasonal fluctuations were observed in numbers of cysts, eggs per cyst, second-stage juveniles (J2) of H. glycines, number of Pasteuria endospores attached per J2, and percentages of endospore-encumbered J2. Percentages of endospore-encumbered J2, Y, increased with the mean numbers of endospores per J2, X, according to the equation Y = 87.0(1 - e^[-0.53X]). In contrast, numbers of J2 per 250 cm³ soil, Y, decreased with the numbers of endospores per J2, X, according to the exponential decay model Y= 67.4 + 220.1e^[-1.2X]. The equilibrium J2 density (67.4 ± 3.3) derived from this function was consistent with the predictions of the Lotka-Volterra model of population dynamics based on the equation 0.0195ln(y) - 0.000336y = 0.000049x - 0.00285ln(x) + 0.06589, where x and y represent the biweekly means of J2 densities and the percentages of endospore-encumbered J2, respectively. In all cases, predicted equilibrium densities of J2 were below the damage threshold reported from field studies. These results indicate that, given sufficient time following introduction into a field, Paxteuria may increase to levels that would be effective as one component in an integrated pest management proglmn to control H. glycines. Key words: biological control, Glycine max, Heterodera glycines, modeling, nematode, Pasteuria, population dynamics, soybean, soybean cyst nematode.