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Title Selective breeding for desiccation tolerance in liquid culture provides genetically stable inbred lines of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
Posted by Nanette Hope Sumaya
Authors Samuel Anbesse, Nanette Hope Sumaya, Anna Verena Dörfler, Olaf Strauch, Ralf-Udo Ehlers
Publication date 2013/1
Journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume 97
Issue 2
Pages 731-739
Publisher Springer Nature
Abstract The entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) Heterorhabditis bacteriophora is used in biological plant protection to control pest insects. In the past, several attempts targeted at an enhancement of the desiccation tolerance of EPN by genetic selection in order to improve their storage stability. The subsequent loss of improved beneficial traits after release of selection pressure has often been reported. In order to stabilize progress of selective breeding, selection during liquid culturing was tested against propagation in host insects. After release of the selection pressure, the tolerance was monitored over additional reproductive cycles in vivo and in vitro to compare the stability of the trait. Furthermore, it was tested whether the virulence of the selected strains would be impaired. Exposure to desiccation stress prior to propagation, in vivo or in vitro, both resulted in increasing desiccation tolerance. When selection pressure was released, the gained tolerance was lost again during in vivo production, whereas the tolerance was maintained at a high level when EPNs were cultured in liquid culture. In Heterorhabditis sp., liquid culture conditions produce highly homozygous, genetically stable inbred lines. The investigation provides easily applicable methods to improve and stabilize beneficial traits of heterorhabditid EPNs through selective breeding in liquid culture. Compared to nematodes from in vivo propagation, production in liquid media yielded EPN of higher virulence.
Index terms / Keywords Biological contro,l Genetic selection, Desiccation tolerance, Infectivity, Inbred lines