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Horticulturae 2017, 3(1), 22; doi:10.3390/horticulturae3010022

Occurrence and Distribution of Entomopathogenic Nematodes in Sweet Potato Fields in the Philippines and Their Implication in the Biological Control of Sweet Potato Weevil

1
Department of Pest Management, College of Agriculture and Food Science, VisayasState University, Visca, Baybay City 6521-A, Philippines
2
University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP Tagum Campus), Davao City 6521-A, Philippines
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Varit Srilaong, Mantana Buanong, Chalermchai Wongs-Aree, Sirichai Kanlayanarat and Douglas D. Archbold
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 11 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 / Published: 30 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management of Organic Horticultural Produce)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [528 KB, uploaded 30 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

The sweet potato weevil (Cyclas formicarius Fabr.) remains a serious threat to sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Poir.) production and is considered the most destructive pest of sweet potatoes in the field and storagein the Philippines. Chemical control of the weevil is seldom practiced by farmers because they find it too costly, it may increase the chance for pesticide resistance, and because of public concern of its effectson non-target organisms. The use of biological controls such as entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) could offer an effective, economical, and environmentally-friendly alternative management of the weevil. This study determined the occurrence and distribution of entomopathogenic nematodes in selected sweet potato growing areas in the Philippines. Using soil from 13 sweet potato growing areas, EPNs were recovered using the insect baiting method. Morbid insect larvae were suspended in sterile water for 48 h, and the suspension was examined under a stereomicroscope for the presence of EPN. Out of 47 samples collected from the 13 sweet potato production areas, 39 (82%) were positive for the presence of EPNs. Preliminary identification of the EPNs through morphological characters showed that they belonged to Rhaditida: Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae. This is the first report on the occurrence of EPNs in sweet potato fields in the Philippines, and their distribution strongly supports the possibility of utilizing them in an IPM management approach as biological agents against the sweet potato weevil. Morphometric and molecular-based identification and pathogenicity studies are underway. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ipomoea batatas; Cylasformicarius; biological control agent; integrated pest management; IPM; Rhabditida; Heterorhabditidae; Steinernematidae Ipomoea batatas; Cylasformicarius; biological control agent; integrated pest management; IPM; Rhabditida; Heterorhabditidae; Steinernematidae
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gapasin, R.M.; Lim, J.L.; Oclarit, E.L.; Ubaub, L.T.; Alde, M.C. Occurrence and Distribution of Entomopathogenic Nematodes in Sweet Potato Fields in the Philippines and Their Implication in the Biological Control of Sweet Potato Weevil. Horticulturae 2017, 3, 22.

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