Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nematodes with pest-fighting potential identified

Date:
August 22, 2012
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Formosan subterranean termites could be in for a real headache. Scientists have identified species of roundworms, or "nematodes," that invade the termite brains and offer a potential bio-based approach to controlling them.

The Poikilolaimus nematode could be a biological control for the Formosan subterranean termite, according to ARS research.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Lynn Carta, ARS

Formosan subterranean termites could be in for a real headache. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have identified species of roundworms, or "nematodes," that invade the termite brains and offer a potential bio-based approach to controlling them. Other nematodes that were identified invaded tarantula brains.

Related Articles


The Formosan termite, a nonnative species from Asia, feeds on cellulose from the heartwood of trees, the wood support beams of buildings, and other sources. It causes an estimated $1 billion annually in U.S. damages, repairs and control costs.

Biologically based control of the pest isn't a new concept, but the nematode species examined thus far do not kill the termites efficiently, according to Lynn Carta, a plant pathologist with the Nematology Laboratory, operated in Beltsville, Md., by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Since 1999, Carta has determined the identities of seven species of nematode isolated from the bodies of Formosan termites by Ashok Raina, a retired entomologist formerly with the ARS Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, La. Other specimens Carta has identified were collected from dead or sick termites native to Uzbekistan. Further details appear in the International Journal of Nematology.

Of particular interest to Carta and colleagues are bacteria that have a symbiotic association with the nematodes. In one case, a Poikilolaimus nematode species and bacterial "accomplice" were isolated from the heads of Formosan termites, and it's likely the microbe had sickened the insects in the field. According to Carta, the bacterial association raises an interesting prospect: using nematodes as vectors of insect pathogens rather than as primary biocontrol agents -- the traditional approach.

In another case that's still under investigation, Carta implicated a Panagrellus nematode species in the death of pet tarantulas. She suspects an insect and yeast may also be involved and is intrigued by the possibility because it would reveal a new ecological association that could yield novel approaches to pest control.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Jan Suszkiw. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Nematodes with pest-fighting potential identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822131216.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2012, August 22). Nematodes with pest-fighting potential identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822131216.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Nematodes with pest-fighting potential identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822131216.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins