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ENTOMOPATHOGENIC NEMATODES AND THEIR SYMBIOTIC BACTERIA FOR THE BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PEST ANTS IN URBAN AND AGRICULTURAL AREAS

Grant number: 21/11925-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2022
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal Investigator:Luís Garrigós Leite
Grantee:Julie Giovanna Chacon Orozco
Host Institution: Instituto Biológico (IB). Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/50334-3 - Institutional research development plan (PDIp): modernization and adequacy of strategic multi-user units of the Instituto Biológico, AP.PDIP

Abstract

Ants are considered pests because they cause many damages and losses in various agricultural crops and urban environments, so there is great interest in discovering new products and methods that are efficient in controlling these insects. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) and their symbiotic bacteria present a series of advantages that make them effective agents as biological controllers, highlighting their adaptability and capacity to colonize the soil. Among their advantages of use, we have their search behavior to combat insect pests of terrestrial habits, their high virulence, they are safe organisms for vertebrates and plants, they do not pose a threat to the environment, they are easy to multiply in laboratory conditions, easy application by conventional equipment and are compatible with chemical and biological pesticides. Therefore, this work aims to select the best formulation of NEPs or their symbiotic bacteria for ant control. For this, eight treatments will be evaluated in the colonies of leaf-cutting ants Atta sexdens and foot-wash ants Solenopsis sp. The results allowed us to choose the best formulation of nematodes and/or their most promising symbiotic bacteria for the control of ant species of economic importance in Brazil, aiming to develop an effective and highly competitive product in relation to chemical insecticides.

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