Entomopathogenic nematodes in agricultural areas in Brazil
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Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) (Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) can control pests due to the mutualistic association with bacteria that kill the host by septicemia and make the environment favorable for EPNs development and reproduction. The diversity of EPNs in Brazilian soils requires further study. The identification of EPNs, adapted to environmental and climatic conditions of cultivated areas is important for sustainable pest suppression in integrated management programs in agricultural areas of Brazil. The objective was to identify EPNs isolated from agricultural soils with annual, fruit and forest crops in Brazil. Soil samples were collected and stored in 250 ml glass vials. The nematodes were isolated from these samples with live bait traps ([Galleria mellonella L. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) larvae]. Infective juveniles were collected with White traps and identified by DNA barcoding procedures by sequencing the D2/D3 expansion of the 28S rDNA region by PCR. EPNs identified in agricultural areas in Brazil were Heterorhabditis amazonensis, Metarhabditis rainai, Oscheios tipulae and Steinernema rarum. These species should be considered pest biocontrol agents in Brazilian agricultural areas.