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  • How Entomopathogenic Nematodes kill Japanese beetles

When the infective juveniles are applied to the soil surface or thatch layer, they start searching for their hosts, in this case Japanese beetle grubs. Once a Japanese beetle grub has been located, the nematode infective juveniles penetrate into the Japanese beetle grub body cavity via natural openings such as mouth, anus and spiracles. Infective juveniles of Heterorhabditis also enter through the intersegmental members of the grub cuticle. Once in the body cavity, infective juveniles release symbiotic bacteria (Xenorhabdus spp. for Steinernematidae and Photorhabdus spp. for Heterorhabditidae) from their gut in grub blood. In the blood, multiplying nematode-bacterium complex causes septicemia and kills Japanese beetle grubs usually within 48 hours after infection. Nematodes feed on multiplying bacteria, mature into adults, reproduce and then emerge as infective juveniles from the cadaver to seek new larvae in the soil.

 

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