Mass production of the nematode Acrobeloides longiuterus using Tribolium castaneum and artificial solid media

Nagarathnam Thiruchchelvan, Gunaratnam Thirukkumaran, Gunasingham Mikunthan


Free-living nematode Acrobeloides longiuterus (Rhabditida: Cephalobidae) exhibits a potential to kill some insect pests. Mass production of this species is a requirement for use it in pest management programs. Tribolium castaneum has been used as a primary host for this nematode as an alternative for Galleria mellonella. Use of artificial media is another option for mass culturing and such recipes based on soy flour are available. Production of A. longiuterus using cost effective method and easily available insect host is important in setting up of small-scale production unit. Therefore, this study has the objectives of evaluating the production feasibility of A. longiuterus on T. castaneum larvae, pupae and adults as in vivo production method. Further, feasibility of using different solid media such as soy flour, palmyra tuber flour, corn flour, black gram flour and dhal flour with other basic ingredients as in vitro conditions system was evaluated. Results revealed that pupa of T. castaneum yielded the highest number of infective juveniles (36112 IJs/ pupa) compared to other life stages tested. In vitro production of A. longiuterus on soy flour and black gram flour media yielded 21530 and 16538 IJs/20g, respectively. Pathogenicity against T. castaneum was shown up to 93% by the infective juveniles produced from the in vitro cultures. In conclusion, T. castaneum is an alternative insect that can be used as a host to produce the A. longiuterus. In addition, soy flour and black gram flour can be used as the sources for this nematode production without losing their entomopathogenicity.

Keywords: Entomopathogenic nematodes, free-living nematode, insect host, flour media, red flour beetle.

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