Potential of entomopathogenic nematodes for biological control of Acalymma vittatum (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in cucumbers grown in conventional and organic soil management systems

C. D. Ellers-Kirk, S. J. Fleischer, R. H. Snyder, J. P. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acalymma vittatum (F.) is the primary insect pest of fresh-market cucumber and melon crops in much of the eastern United States because of their herbivory and interactions with several diseases, most notably bacterial wilt. A study was conducted to determine how soil management affects viability and infectivity of an entomopathogenic nematode that may be used for the control of A. vittatum. Dose-mortality curves under laboratory conditions suggested several Steinernema spp. as potential biocontrol agents. Field injections combined with soil bioassays showed that Steinernema riobravis Cabanillas, Poinar & Raulston (Rhabditus: Steinernematidae) longevity exceeded A. vittatum immature development time in both conventional and organic soil management systems. Mean root length densities of cucumbers increased in both soil management systems with the inclusion of nematodes. Soil management alone also influenced A. vittatum larval survivorship, with higher survival rates in the organic compared with the conventional soil management system. A 50% reduction in A. vittatum larval survival rates in both soil management systems, as determined by adult A. vittatum emergence, demonstrated the potential of incorporation of entomopathogenic nematodes for integrated pest management of diabroticites in commercial cucumber production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-612
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Volume93
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

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