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Action of the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema rarum and its symbiotic bacteria on Lava foot ants (Solenopsis spp.)

Grant number: 22/14952-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2022
Effective date (End): April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Applied Zoology
Principal Investigator:Ana Eugênia de Carvalho Campos
Grantee:Carolina Egidio Babesco
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


Ants of the genus Solenopsis are considered pests because they cause a variety of damage in in urban environments (bites and transmission of diseases in humans and animals), and damage to various agricultural crops (dispersion of mealybugs) and for this reason there is interest in finding new products and methods that are efficient in the control of these insects. The entomopathogenic nematodes and their symbiont bacteria present a series of advantages that make them effective agents as biological controllers, highlighting biological controllers, highlighting their adaptability and ability to colonize the soil as as flooding organisms. Their foraging behavior to combat pest insects of terrestrial habits, high virulence, and because they are safe organisms for vertebrates and plants, they do not vertebrates and plants, they pose no threat to the environment. They are easy to multiply under laboratory conditions, easy to apply with conventional equipment, and are compatible with chemical and biological pesticides. Thus, this work aims to evaluate the action of NEP Steinernema rarum and its symbiont bacteria and the secondary metabolites (MS) of the bacteria for the control of foot washing ants. For this, ants will be collected in the field, maintained in the laboratory and molecular identification to confirm the species, will also be evaluated the natural occurrence of NEPs will be evaluated in soils with anthills and tests will be conducted under laboratory and field conditions. The results will allow us to see the action of NEPs, their symbiont bacteria and of the MS of the bacteria on ants and anthills, aiming to develop an effective product effective and highly competitive in relation to chemical insecticides.

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