The in vivo production of Heterorhabditis zealandica and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora

Van Zyl, Carolina (2012-03)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The agricultural industry in South Africa is dominated by the use of insecticides. Producers rely heavily on chemicals that cause increased risk to health, the environment and ecology, rapid resistance development in key insect pests and pesticide residues on crops. The increased concern regarding the impact of these pest management practices on the environment and alternative pest management strategies are being investigated. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) have been identified as being promising biological control agents of key insect pests. The two EPN genera that have shown promise for use as biological control agents within an integrated pest management programme areSteinernema and Heterorhabditis. Commercialisation and the successful use of EPNs to control pests in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia have confirmed the effectiveness of these organisms as biological control agents. Unfortunately, EPNs in large enough numbers for commercial field applications are not yet available on the South African market. Large numbers of EPNs can be produced through either in vivo or in vitro culturing practices. The objective of this study was to streamline the in vivo production process by using two endemic EPN species, Heterorhabditis zealandica (SF41) and H. bacteriophora (SF351). These EPN isolates have been shown to be effective control agents of codling moth Cydia pomonella, false codling moth Thaumatotibia leucotreta, obscure mealybug Pseudococcus viburni, and the banded fruit weevil Phlyctinus callosus. A comparative study was conducted to identify suitable host insects for EPN production of local H. zealandica (SF41) and H. bacteriophora (SF351) strains. Hosts were selected according to their susceptibility to the two EPN species used, their general availability and the ease and cost of rearing. Wax moth larvae Galleria mellonella (WML) and mealworms Tenebrio molitor (MW) were selected as hosts. In order to produce nematodes of consistent quality, a continuous source of host insects reared on a standardised diet was required. WML and MW were each reared on five different diets in the dark at ±26°C. A superior diet for each host was selected according to the diet that produced, on average, the larvae with the highest body mass within a specific timeframe. The heaviest WML, at an average weight of 0.19 g per larva, were produced on a diet consisting of 118 g wheat flour, 206 g wheat bran, 118 g milk powder, 88 g brewer‟s yeast, 24 g wax powder, 175 ml honey and 175 ml glycerol. The heaviest MW larvae weighed, on average, 0.0154 g per larva, and were produced on a diet consisting of 100% wheat bran. To confirm the hypothesis that a linear relationship exists between the weight of a host and the number of nematodes produced from that host, a study was conducted to determine the number of H. zealandica and H. bacteriophora produced per g of host. WML, MW, codling moth larvae and false codling moth larvae were weighed individually and inoculated with the two nematode species respectively. In addition, nematode production in frozen MW and WML was tested. The number of nematodes harvested from each host was counted, and the average number of nematode progeny produced in each host was calculated. A significant linear correlation between the weight of WML and MW and the number of H. zealandica and H. bacteriophora respectively produced confirmed the hypothesis that nematode production within the specified host increases with an increase in host weight. WML produced the highest number of H. zealandica and H. bacteriophora per g of host (1 459 205 ± 113 670 and 1 898 512 ± 94 355), followed by MW larvae (836 690 ± 121 252 and 414 566 ± 67 017). Lower numbers of H. zealandica and H. bacteriophora per g codling moth (57 582 ± 10 026 and 39 653 ± 8 276) and per g false codling moth (192 867 ± 13 488 and 97 652 ± 23 404) were produced. Successful infection of a suitable insect host is one of the key factors in an efficient in vivo nematode production process. Three inoculation techniques were compared using H. zealandica and H. bacteriophora: inoculation with a pipette; shaking of hosts in the nematode inoculum; and immersion of hosts in the nematode suspension. With each inoculation technique, WML and MW were used as host larvae and were inoculated with nematodes at a concentration of 200 infective juveniles (IJs) / larva. The percentage mortality of insect hosts was determined after two days, and EPN infectivity, confirmed by colour change and dissection, after seven days. The highest percentage EPN infection was obtained using pipetting for both nematode isolates and hosts. Nematode infection rates for all nematode-host combinations obtained with pipetting were above 90%, with the exception of MW inoculation with H. bacteriophora, where the percentage of infection obtained was 76%. The current study conclusively demonstrated that variations in infection levels occur, depending on the inoculation technique used. In an additional effort to enhance infectivity during inoculation, H. zealandica, H. bacteriophora and MW were subjected to host-stressor regimes and to nematode- infectivity-enhancing additives. Three treatments, plus a control treatment, were compared. Exposing MW to 70°C tap water prior to inoculation did not increase infection levels. On the contrary, reduced infection levels were observed with host immersion in 70°C tap water followed by inoculation with H. bacteriophora, compared to the control. Only 12% infection was obtained compared to the 48% infection achieved in the control. Infection obtained using H. zealandica was 21%. Treating H. zealandica and H. bacteriophora IJs withMn2+SO4.H20 in a suspension, prior to inoculating MW, did not significantly enhance nematode virulence. Inoculation of MW with treated H. zealandica IJs led to an infection rate of 81%, compared to the control, with which 80% infection rate was obtained. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora caused 47% MW infection, compared to the control, which was subject to 48% infection. A combination of the two above-mentioned treatments did not enhance the infection levels either. Immersing MW into 70°C tap water prior to inoculation with nematodes treated with Mn2+SO4.H20 led to infection levels of 13% and 9% respectively when H. bacteriophora and H. zealandica were used. Future research is required to optimise the protocol used in this study of subjecting MW and local nematode isolates to stressor regimes. The ability of two formulations to maintain biological activity and virulence of H. zealandica was investigated. A quality standard control measure was used to measure the percentage survival and virulence of formulated H. zealandica over a period of 21 days. IJs were formulated into Pesta granules and coconut fibres, while nematodes stored in tap water served as the control. The numbers of live H. zealandica in Pesta granules and coconut fibres decreased drastically after seven days of storage. The survival of nematodes in Pesta granules dropped to 9.79% after 21 days compared to the control, where the survival rate was 79.79%. Nematode survival in coconut fibres was even lower, at 25.84% after seven days and 2.25% after 21 days. After 21 days in storage, 100%+of nematodes survived in the control for coconut fibres. The application of the standard quality control measure, which was used to determine the virulence of formulated H. zealandica, proved to be ineffective. Higher MW mortality rates were obtained in the control where no nematodes were added to larvae, compared to where nematodes were added in varying dosages. However, adjusting certain aspects in the protocol of this quality control measure specifically to accommodate local conditions could possibly make it a more effective tool for measuring endemic nematode virulence.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die landboubedryf in Suid-Afrika word oorheers deur die gebruik van insekdoders. Vervaardigers steun swaar op chemikalieë wat toenemend gesondheids-, omgewings- en ekologiese risiko's, asook die snelle ontwikkeling van weerstand in sleutelinsekteplae veroorsaak, en wat reste van plaagdoders op gewasse laat. Na aanleiding van toenemende besorgdheid oor die impak van hierdie plaagbestuurspraktyke op die omgewing, word alternatiewe plaagbestuurstrategieë ondersoek. Entomopatogeniese nematodes (EPNs) is geïdentifiseer as belowende biologiese beheeragente van sleutelinsekteplae. Die twee EPN genera wat belofte inhou vir gebruik as biologiese beheeragente binne 'n geïntegreerde plaagbestuursprogram is Steinernema en Heterorhabditis. Kommersialisering en die geslaagde gebruik van EPNs om insekplae te beheer in Noord-Amerika, Australië, Europa en Asië, het die doeltreffendheid van hierdie organismes as biologiese beheeragente bevestig. Ongelukkig is EPNs in groot genoeg getalle vir kommersiële aanwending in die veld nog nie op die Suid-Afrikaanse mark beskikbaar nie. Groot getalle EPNs kan deur in vivo en in vitro teling verkry word. Die doelwit van hierdie studie was om die in vivo produksieproses te stroomlyn deur die gebruik van twee endemiese EPN spesies, Heterorhabditis zealandica (SF41) en H. bacteriophora (SF351). Hierdie EPN isolate is deur navorsing bewys om doeltreffende beheeragente van kodlingmot Cydia pomonella, vals kodlingmot Thaumatotibia leucotreta, ligrooswitluis Pseudococcus viburni, en gebande vrugtekalanders Phlyctinus callosus te wees. 'n Vergelykende studie is gedoen om geskikte gasheerinsekte vir EPN produksie van plaaslike H. zealandica (SF41) en H. bacteriophora (SF351) isolate te vind. Gashere is geselekteer op grond van vatbaarheid vir die EPN spesie wat gebruik word, en algemene beskikbaarheid en gemak en koste van teling. Wasmotlarwes Galleria mellonella (WML) en meelwurms Tenebrio molitor (MW) is as gashere gekies. Ten einde nematodes van konsekwente kwaliteit te teel, word 'n deurlopende bron van gasheerinsekte benodig wat op 'n gestandaardiseerde dieet voed. WML en MW is onderskeidelik op vyf verskillende diëte geteel by ±26°C in die donker. Die beste dieet vir elke gasheer is gekies op grond van die dieet wat, gemiddeld, die swaarste larwes binne 'n spesifieke tydsraamwerk opgelewer het. Die swaarste WML, teen 'n gemiddelde massa van 0.19 g per larwe, is geteel op 'n dieet wat bestaan het uit 118 g koringmeel, 206 g semels, 118 g melkpoeier, 88 g brouersgis, 24 g verpoeierde was, 175 ml heuning en 175 ml gliserol. Die swaarste MW larwes het gemiddeld 0.0154 g per larwe geweeg en is geteel op 'n dieet van 100% semels. Ten einde die hipotese te bevestig dat 'n lineêre verwantskap bestaan tussen die massa van 'n insekgasheer en die aantal nematodes wat deur daardie gasheer geproduseer word, is 'n studie gedoen om die aantal H. zealandica en H. bacteriophora per gasheergram te bepaal. WML, MW, kodlingmotlarwes en vals kodlingmotlarwes is individueel geweeg en met infektiewe larwes van die twee onderskeidelike EPN spesies geïnokuleer. Daarbenewens is die vermeerdering van nematodes in bevrore MW en WML ook getoets. Die aantal nematodes wat in elke gasheer geoes is, is getel, en die gemiddelde nematode-afstammelinge in elke gasheer bereken. 'n Beduidende lineêre korrelasie tussen die massa van WML en MW en die aantal H. zealandica en H. bacteriophora wat onderskeidelik geproduseer is, het die hipotese bevestig dat nematode-vermeerdering binne hierdie gashere toeneem namate die gasheermassa toeneem. WML het die meeste H. zealandica en H. bacteriophera per gasheergram opgelewer (1 459 205± 113 670 en 1 898 512± 94 355 onderskeidelik), gevolg deur MW larwes (836 690± 121 252 en 414 566± 67 017 onderskeidelik). Laer getalle H. zealandica and H. bacteriophora per gram kodlingmot (57 582 ± 10 026 en 39 653 ± 8 276) en per gram vals kodlingmot (192 867 ± 13 488 en 97 652 ± 23 404) is egter geproduseer. Een van die sleutelfaktore vir die doeltreffendheid van die in vivo vermeerdering van nematodes is geslaagde gasheerinfeksie. Drie inokulasietegnieke is dus geëvalueer en vergelyk deur H. zealandica en H. bacteriophora te gebruik: inokulasie met 'n pipet, skud van gashere in 'n nematode-inokulum, en gasheerindompeling in 'n nematode-suspensie. WML en MW is as gashere gebruik vir elke inokulasietegniek, en is geïnokuleer met nematodes wat uit 'n konsentrasie van 200 infektiewe larwes (ILs) / insek larwe bestaan het. Die persentasie dooie insekgashere is na twee dae bepaal, en infeksie soos bevestig deur kleurverandering en disseksie, na sewe dae. Die hoogste persentasie infeksie deur sowel nematode-isolate as gashere te gebruik, was met die pipet-tegniek. Die infeksiekoerse vir alle nematode-gasheerkombinasies met die pipet-tegniek was hoër as 90%, met die uitsondering van MW-inokulasie met H. bacteriophora, waar die infeksie 76% was. Hierdie studie toon dat afwykings voorkom in die mate van gasheerinfeksie, na gelang van die inokulasietegniek wat gebruik is. In 'n bykomende poging om infeksie na inokulasie te verhoog, is H. zealandica, H. bacteriophora en MW onderwerp aan stressors en bymiddels om nematode-infeksie te bevorder. Drie behandelings, asook 'n kontrole-behandeling, is vergelyk. Infeksievlakke het nie verhoog deur MW voor inokulasie aan kraanwater van 70°C bloot te stel nie. Inteendeel, laer infeksievlakke is opgemerk waar gashere in kraanwater van 70°C gedompel is en daarna met H. bacteriophora geïnokuleer is, vergelyke met die kontrole. Gasheerinfeksie van slegs 12% is verkry, vergelyke met 48% in die kontrole. Infeksie van 21% is met H. zealandica verkry. Die virulensie van nematodes het nie beduidend toegeneem deur H. zealandica en H. bacteriophora IL in 'n suspensie met Mn2+SO4H20 te behandel voor MW geïnokuleer is nie. Inokulasie van MW met behandelde H. zealandica IL het tot 'n infeksie van 81% gelei, vergelyke met die kontrole waar 'n infeksie van 80% behaal is. H. bacteriophora het 'n MW-infeksie van 47% veroorsaak, vergelyke met die kontrole se infeksiekoers van 48%. 'n Kombinasie van die twee bogenoemde behandelings het eweneens nie gasheerinfeksievlakke verhoog nie. Die indompeling van meelwurms in kraanwater van 70°C voor inokulasie met nematodes wat met Mn2+SO4H20 behandel is, het tot gasheerinfeksie van 13% en 9% onderskeidelik gelei wanneer H. bacteriophora en H. zealandica gebruik is. Toekomstige navorsing is nodig om die protokol te verbeter wat in hierdie studie gebruik is om MW en plaaslike nematode-isolate aan stressors te onderwerp. 'n Ondersoek is gedoen na die vermoë van twee formulasies om biologiese aktiwiteit en virulensie van H. zealandica te onderhou. 'n Kwaliteitsstandaardtegniekis gebruik om weekliks die persentasie oorlewing en virulensie van geformuleerde H. zealandica oor 'n tydperk van 21 dae te meet. IL is in Pesta korrels en klappervesel geformuleer, terwyl nematodes in kraanwater gedien het as kontrole. Die aantal lewende H. zealandica in Pesta korrels en klappervesel het drasties verminder na sewe dae in die formulasie. Oorlewing van nematodes in Pesta korrels het gedaal tot 9.79% na 21 dae vergyleke met die kontrole, waar 79.79% oorleef het. Nog minder nematodes - 25.84% - het na sewe dae in die klappervesel oorleef, en slegs 2.25% na 21 dae. Na 21 dae van berging het 100%+ van nematodes oorleef in die kontrole vir klappervesel. Die toepassing van die kwaliteitsstandaardtegniek om die virulensie van geformuleerde H. zealandica te bepaal, het ondoeltreffend geblyk. Verhoogde MW sterftesyfers is verkry in die kontrole waar geen nematodes by die inseklarwes gevoeg is nie, vergelyke met die byvoeging van hoër dosisse nematodes. Nietemin, die aanpassing van sekere aspekte in die protokol van hierdie kwaliteitsbeheermeting om spesifiek plaaslike toestande in ag te neem, sou dit moontlik 'n meer doeltreffende middel kon maak om die virulensie van endemiese nematodes te bepaal.

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