Influence of bacterial density and mating on life history traits of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora

in Nematology
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Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, associated with Photorhabdus luminescens, is commonly used against insect pests. Dauer juveniles (DJ) develop into self-fertilising hermaphrodites that lay eggs until juveniles hatch inside the uterus and feed on the body content of the mother (endotokia matricida). The life history traits of H. bacteriophora were studied at 2.5 × 109, 5 × 109, 10 × 109 and 20 × 109 cells ml−1 of P. luminescens at 25°C using a hanging drop technique. The number of offspring produced per hermaphrodite increased from 50 at 2.5 × 109 cells ml−1 to 269 at 20 × 109 cells ml−1 of P. luminescens. The bacterial density did not influence the beginning of endotokia matricida, hermaphrodite death, DJ release from the maternal carcass and the percentage of juveniles obtained through endotokia matricida. Mating of automictic females could not increase offspring production and survival. Endotokia matricida is an obligatory developmental step in H. bacteriophora.

Influence of bacterial density and mating on life history traits of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora

in Nematology

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Figures

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    Multi-well plates with solidified 300 μl nematode growth gelrite (G) coated with 10 μl Photorhabdus luminescens-semi-solid nematode growth gelrite (B) at a density of 20 × 109 cells ml−1 used for assessment of the influence of mating on offspring production and survival of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora hermaphrodites and females at 25°C. The drops and the bacteria are on the inner side of the lid and the base of the multi-well used as a lid in inverted position. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685411.

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    Mean number of offspring (A) and percentage of offspring production (B) per hermaphrodite of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora originating from laid eggs (extra-uterine) and from endotokia matricida (intra-uterine) at 25°C in hanging drops at 2.5 ×, 5 ×, 10 × and 20 × 109 cells ml−1 of Photorhabdus luminescens. Different lower case letters above error bars indicate significant differences among bacterial densities (P0.05).

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    Influence of bacterial density on the occurrence of endotokia matricida, adult mortality and dauer juvenile (DJ) release from maternal carcass of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora hermaphrodites assessed in hanging drops at 2.5 ×, 5 ×, 10 × and 20 × 109 cells ml−1 of Photorhabdus luminescens at 25°C. Significant differences were not observed between bacterial densities (P0.05).

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    Hermaphrodite body volume of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora assessed at 2.5 ×, 5 ×, 10 × and 20 × 109 cells ml−1 of Photorhabdus luminescens at 25°C in hanging drops. A positive correlation between hermaphrodite body volume and offspring production was observed (R=0.88; P=0.0002).

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    Mean number and percentage of offspring originating from endotokia matricida (intra-uterine) per self-fertilising hermaphrodite (⚥), mated hermaphrodite (⚥ × ♂) and mated female (♀ × ♂) of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora strain EN01 assessed at 25°C at 20 × 109 cells ml−1 of Photorhabdus luminescens. Different lower and upper case letters above error bars indicate significant differences among parental nematodes in mean total offspring and those originating from endotokia matricida, respectively (Tukey’s HSD test at P0.05).

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    Mean and mean maximum adult survival of self-fertilising hermaphrodite (⚥), mated hermaphrodites (⚥ × ♂), female (♀) and mated female (♀ × ♂) of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora at 25°C assessed on lids of multi-well plates with 300 μl solid NGG medium coated with 10 μl Photorhabdus luminescens at 20 × 109 cells ml−1. Different lower case letters above error bars indicate significant differences in survival among parental nematodes (Tukey’s HSD test at P0.0001).

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