Risk assessment, fitness and field release of a transgenic entomopathogenic nematode

Michael John Wilson, S. Hashmi, R. Gaugler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Entomopathogenic nematodes can be used as biological control agents that are particularly suited for controlling soil pests. One problem with current commercial formulations is a lack of tolerance to brief exposures to high temperatures that often occur during product distribution. This can result in death of the nematodes and a loss of product efficacy. To counter this, a strain of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora was genetically engineered by the addition of the heat shock protein gene (hsp70A) from the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Prior to field release of the nematode we performed laboratory experiments to compare the physiological fitness of the transformed nematode with the wild-type. The transformed nematode was not different from the wild-type in terms of infectivity, reproductive capacity and survival at 16, 25, 30 or 37degreesC, nor were there any detectable differences in the virulence to a range of invertebrates or to mice. Three enclosed field releases were to monitor the persistence of wild-type and transformed nematodes in the environment. There were no significant differences in persistence between the two nematode types.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of NATO Advanced Research Workshop, Enhancing Biocontrol Agents and Handling Risks (eds. Gressel,J.;Vurro,M.) IOS Press
Place of PublicationProceedings of NATO Advanced Research Workshop, Enhancing Biocontrol Agents and Handling Risks (eds. Gressel,J.;Vurro,M.) IOS Press
Pages177-187
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • CAENORHABDITIS-ELEGANS
  • HETERORHABDITIS-BACTERIOPHORA
  • GENETIC-TRANSFORMATION
  • HEAT-SHOCK
  • STEINERNEMA
  • SELECTION
  • ORGANISMS
  • IMPACT
  • LARVAE
  • HSP70

Cite this

Wilson, M. J., Hashmi, S., & Gaugler, R. (2001). Risk assessment, fitness and field release of a transgenic entomopathogenic nematode. In Proceedings of NATO Advanced Research Workshop, Enhancing Biocontrol Agents and Handling Risks (eds. Gressel,J.;Vurro,M.) IOS Press (pp. 177-187).