A survey of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) was conducted in the Central Andean region of Colombia. Out of a total of 945 soil samples, 28 (3%) were positive for entomopathogenic nematodes. Of them, 26 samples (92.8%) contained Steinernema and two (7.2%) harboured Heterorhabditis isolates. Characterisation of the recovered isolates was done by analysis of rDNA sequences. The large subunit of rDNA (28S) was considered for diagnosis of Steinernema species whereas the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of rDNA was used to identify Heterorhabditis isolates recovered in this study. Five Steinernema spp. were isolated and identified as S. websteri and four new, undescribed species. Steinernema websteri was isolated from two sites: Naranjal and Paraguaicito stations. At Naranjal, this species was recovered from a coffee plantation and a forest habitat surrounding these plantations. At Paraguaicito, the same species was recovered from a coffee-guamo habitat. Steinernema sp. 1 was collected from nogal cafetero (Cordia allaidora) groves and forest habitats at Paraguaicito station. Steinernema sp. 2 was found in coffee-guamo habitats both at Naranjal and Paraguaicito stations. Steinernema sp. 3 was the only EPN species recovered at Santa Barbara station in association with plantain. This species was also found at La Catalina station in association with forest habitats and also from soil samples taken from a landscaped area with Heliconia sp. and grass cover (Arachis pintoi) at Cenicafé La Granja station and a coffee-guamo habitat at Naranjal station. Steinernema sp. 4 was found at La Catalina in a forest habitat, also associated with Steinernema sp. 3 (isolate JCL002) and Heterorhabditis sp. 1 (isolate JCL 003). The Heterorhabditis isolates were identified as two undescribed Heterorhabditis spp. Heterorhabditis sp. 1 (isolate JCL003) was recovered at La Catalina station associated with a forest habitat. Heterorhabditis sp. 2 (isolate JCL040) was collected from a coffee-guamo habitat at Naranjal station. Although limited to one geographic region, this study suggests entomopathogenic nematodes in Colombia are quite diverse and are perhaps widely distributed in this country. A more intensive survey covering all geographic regions is currently underway.
- Biological diversity
- Colombian Andes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agronomy and Crop Science