Entomopathogenic nematodes update February 2015
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) are used in biocontrol products for the control of soil-born-pest insects. Currently, during the production of these nematodes, there are high losses. One of the goals of the BIOCOMES project is to improve the production and storage technologies to reduce the production costs and to make the production of nematode products competitive in comparison with chemical based products.
Improved harvest and storage protocol
Nematodes are produced in liquid culture in fermenters of up to 60 cubic meter volume. BIOCOMES partner E-nema has tested different procedures to lower losses during harvest. Several factors on mortality during storage like temperature, oxygen rate, and nematode densities were optimised.
Increasing survival rate
Nematodes are now target of domestication. Three partners work on genetic improvement of the nematodes to increase their survival during storage and transport. Volcani Center started to analyse which genes are responsible for desiccation tolerance and UAç identified about one hundred genes differentially expressed between virulent and nonvirulent strains, to develop genetic markers in order to support the genetic selection.
Read more about our activities on Entomopathogenic nematodes