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Monitoring Entomopathogenic Nematodes as Ecological Indicators in the Cultivated Lands of Karur District, Tamil Nadu: a Survey Report

A limited systematic survey of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) has been conducted in Karur region of Tamil Nadu, India. A survey was conducted for the natural occurrence of EPNs. Totally, 1000 soil samples were collected in the four provinces of Karur. Soil samples from 25 sites on four provinces were baited with Galleria mellonella insects for the recovery of nematodes. Steinernema nematode was equally prevalent in all types of crop fields, and maximum recovered species from sugarcane plantation. Out of a total of 1000 soil samples, 25 were positive for entomopathogenic nematodes (2.5%), with 3 (0.3%) containing Heterorhabditis and 22 (2.2%) Steinernema isolates. Morphological characters were used in the identification of nematode isolates thereby Heterorhabditis indica was the only species identified. Of Steinernema species, S. siamkayai was isolated and shown to be predominant species in soil pH ranged from 5.8 to 7.5. They were more frequently isolated from banana plantation compared to other crops. In relation to soil characteristics, isolates were higher in sandy clay loam soil, followed by clay loam. Recovered EPN species in this region have shown to possess distinctive qualities in their survival in the particular environments, such as soil type, suitable plant crops, and temperatures.

Author(s): Razia M, Padmanaban R, Karthik Raja R, Chellapandi P, Sivaramakrishnan

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