Molecular identification of entomopathogenic nematode isolate and its virulence to white grub, Leucopholis burmeisteri (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)
Rajkumar1,*, Rachana KE1, Rajesh MK1, Sabana AA1, Nagaraja NR2, Shahin S1, Subaharan K1
1ICAR Central plantation crop research institute, Kasaragod, Kerala, India
2ICAR Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Regional Station, Vittal, Karnataka, India
*Corresponding author: Dr. Rajkumar, Scientist, Nematology Section, ICAR Central Plantation Research Institute, Kasaragod, Kerala – 671124, India, E-mail: email@example.com
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) carrying symbiotic bacteria represent one of the best non chemical strategies for pest management. Isolation and identification of native isolates in the field are necessary for successful control of insect pests due to their better adoption in local environment. An native isolate of EPN was identified as Steinernema carpocapsae recovered from soil rhizosphere of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) plantations based upon molecular resolution of 16s rRNA and COXII genes. The virulence of the identified nematode isolate was evaluated on white grub (Leucopholis burmeisteri) neonate larvae and found highly virulent at nematode density of 700 Infective Juveniles (IJs)/larvae caused 100% mortality within 4–5 days of post inoculation and 73.3% mortality of early 2nd instar grubs within 6–8 days of post inoculation at density of 6000 IJs/larva (P=0.05). In laboratory assays the identified isolate demonstrated virulence to white grub indicates its potential as a biological control agent and could be potentially incorporated in integrated pest management programmes.