Applications of entomopathogenic nematodes for a sustainable control of soil insect pests
Responsable du projet Ted Turlings
Fabio Mascher
Collaborateur Raquel Campos Herrera
Ruben Blanco Perez
Marie Fesselet
Sandrine Gouinguene

Natacha Gassmann Aubert
Résumé The pesticide potential of micro-organisms, of which there are many kinds that occur in the soil, has not been exhausted. Ted Turlings and his team are studying so-called entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN), tiny roundworms that can kill off insects living the soil. The team aims to record the frequency and the types of nematodes in various habitats and to check whether they are suitable for use as biological pest control.

Pests that attack the roots of crops are difficult to reach with pesticides. In the soil, however, there lives a great variety of micro-organisms that can make an important contribution to plant protection. Yet, until now, biological pest control has only been able to use the tremendous potential of these organisms to a limited degree.

The research team would like to find out how the potential of beneficial soil organisms can be better exploited. It is concentrating its research on so-called entomopathogenic nematodes, tiny roundworms that can kill off insects living in the soil. They could be used as pest control, depending on their effectiveness in different kinds of soil. The project is therefore recording the occurrence of EPN with regard to species composition and densities at selected sites in Switzerland. The effectiveness and the persistence of EPN that are already available on the market will be recorded in different kinds of soil. Finally, the positive effect of EPN is to be optimised and in collaboration with the research teams of Marcel van der Heijden (Agroscope ART) and Monika Maurhofer and Christoph Keel (ETH Zurich/University of Lausanne) combined with the application of other useful micro-organisms (bacteria, symbiotic fungi).

The project aims to analyse a large number of soil organisms in field conditions and extend current knowledge on the interaction between various micro-organisms and plants in the root area, based to a large extent on laboratory and greenhouse experiments. It should reveal to what extent the soil quality and yield can be improved through the use of entomopathogenic nematodes. This is of interest to companies that are developing pesticides that do not harm the environment.
Mots-clés Biological control, Crop protection, Plant defense, Entomopathogenic nematodes, Tritrophic interactions, Nematodes
Type de projet Recherche fondamentale
Domaine de recherche Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Source de financement SNSF: NRP 68 Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource
Etat Terminé
Début de projet 1-4-2013
Fin du projet 31-3-2016
Budget alloué 557'204.00
Autre information http://p3.snf.ch/project-143065
Contact Thomas Degen