Beneficial trait stability in entomopathogenic nematodes
Abstract: A number of beneficial traits such as virulence, reproductive potential, andenvironmental tolerance are key factors in determining an organism’s ability to produce highlevels of efficacy in biological control. Deterioration or loss of beneficial traits during laboratoryor industrial culture production is detrimental to biocontrol efficacy. During in vivo production,both partners in the nematode-bacterium complex can undergo change, which contributes toreduction in beneficial traits. The nematode’s bacterial symbiont also deteriorates whenrepeatedly cultured in vitro. Changes in nematode beneficial traits may be due to genetic or nongenetic(e.g., nutritional) causes. Methods to deter trait deterioration include maintenance orimprovement of media, creation of selected inbred lines, or improved cryopreservationtechniques.