December 1, 2023

EPNs against Wireworm in Potatoes

Askar et al.
The control of wireworms is of prime importance in potato production due to the potential damage.

Wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are common insect peststhat attack a wide range of economically important crops including potatoes.The control of wireworms is of prime importance in potato production due to thepotential damage of the larvae to tuber quantity and quality. Chemicalinsecticides, the main control strategy against wireworms, generally fail toprovide satisfactory control due to the lack of available chemicals and thesoil-dwelling habits of the larvae. In the last decades, new eco-friendlyconcepts have emerged in the sustainable control of wireworms, one of which isentomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs). EPNs are soil-inhabitant organisms andrepresent an ecological approach to controlling a great variety ofsoil-dwelling insect pests. In this study, the susceptibility of Agriotessputator Linnaeus and A. rufipalpis Brullé larvae, the most common wirewormspecies in potato cultivation in Türkiye, to native EPN strains [Steinernemacarpocapsae (Sc_BL22), S. feltiae (Sf_BL24 and Sf_KAY4), and Heterorhabditisbacteriophora (Hb_KAY10 and Hb_AF12)] were evaluated at two temperatures (25and 30 ◦C) in pot experiments. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Hb_AF12 was themost effective strain at 30 ◦C six days post-inoculation and caused 37.5%mortality to A. rufipalpis larvae. Agriotes sputator larvae were moresusceptible to tested EPNs at the same exposure time, and 50% mortality wasachieved by two EPNs species, Hb_AF12 and Sc_BL22. All EPN species/strainsinduced mortality over 70% to both wireworm species at both temperatures at 100IJs/cm2 , 18 days post-treatment. The results suggest that tested EPNspecies/strains have great potential in the control of A. sputator and A.rufipalpis larvae.

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