Gateway for:

Member Countries

Entomopathogenic Nematodes in Phytosanitary of Greenhouse Agroecosystem


Biological Principles of Using Entomopathogenic Nematodes (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae, Heterorhabditidae) in Phytosanitary Optimization of Greenhouse Agroecosistem

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-PPR/Plant Protection/Agriculture

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Immunological Engineering, Russia, Moscow reg., Lyubuchany

Supporting institutes

  • Russian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Russia, St Petersburg


  • Oregon State University, USA, OR, Corvallis

Project summary

The aim of the Project is to develop biological principles of entomopathogenic nematode usage in phytosanitary optimization of greenhouse agroecosystems.

Usage of chemical pesticides in agriculture and forestry is dangerous both foe human health and environment. The result of such usage is manifested in biocenosis balance shift: destruction of useful entomofauna, appearance of the groups of injurious insects stable for pesticides. Systems of measures implying basic methods of lowering the number of injurious insects using ecological principles aiding to reproduction and up-regulation of natural enemies of the pest activity are under development in agriculture as well as in other branches of the national economy. So, an important place is taken by the usage of the natural enemies of the pests, such as parasites, predators and infectious disease agents in the injurious insect control. In this connection, the interest in enteropathogenic nematodes (EPN) used for the regulation of the number of injurious insect species was risen for the last two decades.

Lately, the risen interest for EPN has been connected with the perspective of the usage of Steinernematidae, Heterorhabditide, Mermithidae families in the pest control in Russia and abroad. Nematodes of Steinernematidae and Heterorhabitidae families are of the highest practical interest (Poinar, 1979; Wouts, 1981). Nematode stability against a wide range of contemporary pesticides, their avirulence for plants, rain-worms and vertebrates makes it possible to use Steinernematidae and Heterorhabitidae for the pest control (Boemare, Laumond, Mauleon, 1996; Gaugler, 1988; Ishibashy, Kondo, 1987; Poinar, 1984; Ralph, 1989, Danilov, 1998; Danilov et al., 1999).

Olericulture and ornamental floriculture of protected ground are the most intensive forms of agronomy enabling to get the heaviest crop from the square unit practically all year round. But the conditions of greenhouse plant growing are very favorable for the development of a large number of tiny injurious organisms. Biological method for plant protection against injurious organisms is ecologically pure and perspective one. (Pavlyushin et al., 2001). In Russia, the problem of biological protection appeared in 70-80 the of the last century in connection with intensive growing of the greenhouse areas (15 thousand hectares) resulted in sharp worsening of phytoparasitic situation in them.

Among the injurious insects in protected ground, thrips, lantana seed flies, cucumber midge, and gall nematodes are of special economic importance. A large number of contemporary protective means lost their efficacy because of the appearance of pest populations stable to pesticides. In this account, lately in many countries, more and more attention is paid to the study on possibilities of EPN practical usage against injurious insects.

One of the most injurious species of insects damaging greenhouse cultures is western flower thrips (Franсliniella occidentalis Perg). Nymphs of this thrips developing in soil are being the permanent source of the population revival because of the stability to the traditional measures of plant protection. In this respect, entomopathogenic nematodes are of special interest. Effect of EPN usage as a biologic mean for the control of western flower thrips was first evaluated in Poland (Tomalak, 1991), then in Israel (Chyzik et al.,1996), Russia (Danilov, Ivanova, 1998; Danilov, 2001) and other countries (Ebssa et al., 2001). Hopeful results of the control of onion thrips (Thrips tabaci Lind.), lantana seed flies (Lirimyza) and crickets (Acheta) (Danilov, Agansonova, 1995) were obtained under laboratory and industrial conditions. Possibilities of EPNs application against phytonematodes are also under the study (Bird and Bird, 1986; Ishibashi, Kondo, 1986; Ishibashi, Choi, 1991). Positive results in the control of root-knot nematode damaging plant roots have been obtained lately in a number of countries (Bird, Bird, 1986; Ishibashi, Kondo, 1986; Gouge et al., 1994). During the study of possible mechanisms of suppression of plant parasitic nematodes using EPN, the presence of toxic substances in metabolism products of their symbiotic bacteria was determined. (Grewal et al., 1999; Samaliev et al., 2000).

Today, wide biological and ecological studies on the efficiency of EPNs usage against many species of insects and gall nematodes and on the possibility of their mass culturing on the artificial nutrient media (Danilov, 2001) are being carried out in the world. There are many contradictory data on the efficacy of EPNs applications. Now, a simple approach to the test methods and nematode usage as biologic insecticides without taking into account the peculiarities of biology and ecology of some species and strains of these parasites, their behavior in the host environment depending on environmental conditions should be indicated as one of the reasons for this.

A collection of 42 isolates from natural populations of EPNs isolated both in Russia and in the other countries is available for the Project participants. Two biological preparations – NEMABACT based on S.carpocapsae nematode strain "agriotos" and ENTONEM-F based on S.feltiae SRP91 species have been constructed and registered by the Project participants in the Russian Federation.

The Project participants have a prolonged experience in the study of biology, in the development of the methods and their application in production of preparations based on EPNs (Danilov, 2001; Danilov L.G., Aipetyan V.G., Salaytov, 2001; Danilov L.G., Aipetyan V.G., Nashchekina, 2001; Danilov L.G., Aipetyan V.G., Iskrytsky, 2001; Danilov, Aipetyan, 2001).

The Project is supposed:

- to select EPNs perspective for suppression of phytophags damaging vegetable and ornamental greenhouse cultures;
- to construct new preparative forms based on highly virulent EPN strains;
- to develop recommendations on the usage of the obtained preparations in practice.