Effect of Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251 on the survival and virulence of entomopathogenic nematodes under laboratory conditions
AbstractThe effect of the nematophagous fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251 (PL251) on the survival and virulence of the entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) Steinernema feltiae, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and H. megidis was investigated under controlled conditions. In a laboratory assay, EPN survival in sand treated with PL251 was determined at days 1, 7 and 14 after nematode application. In addition, a sand column assay was used to determine the effect of PL251 application on EPN efficacy by measuring insect mortality and nematode penetration rate into Galleria mellonella larvae. The survival and biocontrol performance of the three EPN species were not affected by PL251 application. These results indicate the potential of the commercial P. lilacinus strain 251 for integration with EPNs in pest management strategies.