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Alginate beads as vehicles for the application of entomopathogenic nematodes and bacteria against economically important soil-dwelling pests

English title Alginate beads as vehicles for the application of entomopathogenic nematodes and bacteria against economically important soil-dwelling pests
Applicant Turlings Théodoor
Number 161904
Funding scheme NRP 68 Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource
Research institution Institut de Biologie Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Start/End 01.12.2015 - 31.12.2017
Approved amount 539'196.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Environmental Research
Ecology

Keywords (5)

carrot fly; cabbage root fly; insect root pest; Western corn rootworm; biological control

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Entomopathogene Nematoden und Bakterien könnten eine wichtige Rolle in der biologischen Bekämpfung von Bodenschädlingen spielen, wenn geeignete Freilassungsmethoden vorhanden wären. Das Ziel dieses Projektes ist die Entwicklung einer Formulierung, bei der die nützlichen Organismen in Alginatkugeln eingebettet werden, wodurch die Lagerzeit des Produktes verlängert und seine Ausbringung erleichtert würde.
Lay summary

Entomopathogene Nematoden (EPN) können bodenlebende Insekten mit Hilfe von symbiotischen Bakterien innerhalb von wenigen Tagen abtöten. In der ersten Phase des NRP68 hat sich gezeigt, dass die Dichten von EPN in landwirtschaftlichen Böden – unabhängig von den Bearbeitungsmethoden – viel tiefer sind als in Böden an natürlichen Standorten. Für entomopathogene Bakterien (EPB) dürfte die Situation ähnlich sein. In Kulturen, bei denen Probleme mit bodenlebenden Schädlingen auftreten, müssten die Nützlinge also ausgebracht werden, wofür es bisher aber keine wirksamen und kostengünstigen Behandlungsmethoden gab. Das Projekt hat es sich zum Ziel gesetzt, eine neue Methode zu entwickeln, die darauf basiert, dass die nützlichen Organismen in Alginatkugeln eingekapselt werden. Diese Formulierungen sollen durch die Zugabe von Pflanzenstoffen weiter optimiert werden, die einerseits die EPN zur besseren Lagerfähigkeit in einen Ruhezustand versetzen und andererseits die Schädlinge anlocken und zum Fressen der Kugeln animieren sollen. Beide Strategien wurden unter Laborbedingungen für gewisse Schädlinge bereits erfolgreich getestet. Die Wirksamkeit soll nun aber auch in Feldversuchen gezeigt werden, und zwar gegen die Kohl- und die Möhrenfliege, zwei wichtige Schädlinge im Gemüsebau, und gegen den Maiswurzelbohrer, eine eingeschleppte Käferart, die grosse Schäden in Maiskulturen verursachen kann. Wenn es gelingt, diese neue Schädlingsbekämpfungsmethode zu realisieren, leistet das einen Beitrag zu einer umweltschonenderen Landwirtschaft.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 20.10.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Improved separation by at-column dilution in preparative hydrophilic interaction chromatography
Jaffuel Geoffrey, Chappuis Laura, Guillarme Davy, Turlings Ted C.J., Glauser Gaétan (2018), Improved separation by at-column dilution in preparative hydrophilic interaction chromatography, in Journal of Chromatography A, 1532, 136-143.
Diffusion of the maize root signal ( E )-β-caryophyllene in soils of different textures and the effects on the migration of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis megidis
Chiriboga M. Xavier, Campos-Herrera Raquel, Jaffuel Geoffrey, Röder Gregory, Turlings Ted C.J. (2017), Diffusion of the maize root signal ( E )-β-caryophyllene in soils of different textures and the effects on the migration of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis megidis, in Rhizosphere, 3, 53-59.
A look into the toolbox of multi-talents: insect pathogenicity determinants of plant-beneficial pseudomonadsInsect Pathogenicity in Plant-Beneficial Pseudomonads
Keel Christoph (2016), A look into the toolbox of multi-talents: insect pathogenicity determinants of plant-beneficial pseudomonadsInsect Pathogenicity in Plant-Beneficial Pseudomonads, in Environmental Microbiology, 18(10), 3207-3209.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Micro Capsule Concepts Laboratoire Meiners (Jean Antoine Meiners) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
USDA-ARS, University of Missouri (Prof. Bruce E. Hibbard) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Citrus Research & Education Center, University of Florida (Dr. Larry Duncan) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Agroscope Changins Wädenswil (Dr. Ute Vogler) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Agroscope Seminary Individual talk Das geheime Leben von wurzelkolonisierenden Pseudomonaden: Nicht nur Antipilz-Agenten sondern auch Insektenkiller? (talk Monika Maurhofer) 06.12.2017 Wädenswil, Switzerland Keel Christoph; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika; Flury Pascale Christina; Turlings Théodoor;
Seminar Cycle of the Department of Biology, University of Fribourg Individual talk Insect pathogenicity determinants of plant-beneficial pseudomonads (talk Christoph Keel) 12.10.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland Keel Christoph;
Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society for Microbiology Talk given at a conference The plant-beneficial root-colonizer Pseudomonas protegens CHA0 persists in insects throughout different developmental stages and can be transmitted to new host plants (talk Pascale Flury) 30.08.2017 Basel, Switzerland Keel Christoph; Flury Pascale Christina; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society for Microbiology Talk given at a conference Promising attempts to ‘biocontrol’ the corn rootworm Diabrotica virgifera virgivera using Pseudomonas bacteria, entomopathogenic nematodes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in field experiments in Missouri (talk Nicola Imperiali) 30.08.2017 Basel, Switzerland Turlings Théodoor; Keel Christoph;
8th World Congress of Allelopathy. Allelopathy for sustainable ecosystems Talk given at a conference Trophic interactions in the rhizosphere: applying chemical ecology to develop novel strategies for root pest control (invited talk Ted Turlings) 24.07.2017 Marseille, France Turlings Théodoor;
FEMS 2017: 7th congress of European Microbiologists Poster The plant-beneficial root-colonizer Pseudomonas protegens CHA0 persists in insects throughout different developmental stages and can be transmitted to new host plants (Poster Pascale Flury) 09.07.2017 Valencia, Spain Keel Christoph; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika; Flury Pascale Christina;
1st International Symposium on Plant Bioprotection Sciences and Technologies Talk given at a conference Combination of plant-beneficial pseudomonads with entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes for insect control. 1st International Symposium on Plant Bioprotection Sciences and Technologies (talk Monika Maurhofer) 27.06.2017 Reims, France Flury Pascale Christina; Keel Christoph; Turlings Théodoor; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
16th Meeting of the IOBC-WPRS Working Group Microbial and Nematode Control of Invertebrate Pests Talk given at a conference Root-colonizing fluorescent pseudomonads as biocontrol agents of insects (talk Monika Maurhofer 11.06.2017 Tiflis, Georgia Turlings Théodoor; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika; Flury Pascale Christina;
26th Conference of the IOBC-Global International Working Group of Ostrinia and other maize pests (IWGO) Talk given at a conference The combined application of beneficial microorganisms to control the Western corn rootworm (updated talk Geoffrey Jaffuel)) 10.04.2017 Beijing, China Turlings Théodoor;
Entomology Congress (Entomologentagung) Talk given at a conference Trophic interactions in the rhizosphere: applying chemical ecology to develop novel strategies for root pest control (invited talk Ted Turlings) 15.03.2017 Freising, Germany Turlings Théodoor;
Seminar Cycle of the Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne Individual talk Fluorescent Pseudomonas bacteria as tools for monitoring and improving the health of agricultural soils (talk Nicola Imperiali) 03.02.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland Keel Christoph;
Herbsttagung der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Phytomedizin Talk given at a conference Wie nützliche Wurzelbakterien Kulturpflanzen vor Pathogenen und Schadinsekten schützen (talk Christoph Keel) 27.10.2016 Zollikofen, Switzerland Flury Pascale Christina; Keel Christoph; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika; Turlings Théodoor;
Plant Science Center colloquium ETHZ Individual talk Biological insect control with bacteria (talk Monika Maurhofer) 28.09.2016 Zurich, Switzerland Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
25th International Congress of Entomology 2016 (ICE2016) Talk given at a conference The combined application of beneficial microorganisms to control the Western corn rootworm (talk Geoffrey Jaffuel) 25.09.2016 Orlando, Florida, United States of America Turlings Théodoor;
XIV IOBC/WPRS Meeting of the working group biological control of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens Talk given at a conference Fluorescent pseudomonads for joint disease and pest control: just a dream or a real perspective? (talk Monika Maurhofer) 12.09.2016 Berlin, Germany Flury Pascale Christina; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika; Turlings Théodoor; Keel Christoph;
ISME16 - International Symposium on Microbial Ecology Poster Are fluorescent Pseudomonas bacteria potential bio-indicators of soil health? (poster Nicola Imperiali) 21.08.2016 Montreal, Canada Keel Christoph; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
SIP 2016 International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control, Cross Division Symposium ‘Recruitment of beneficial microbes and nematodes’ Talk given at a conference Insect pathogenicity determinants of plant-associated pseudomonads (talk Christoph Keel) 24.07.2016 Tours, France Keel Christoph; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika; Flury Pascale Christina;
SIP 2016 International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control, Cross Division Symposium ‘Recruitment of beneficial microbes and nematodes’ Talk given at a conference Potential of root-associated pseudomonads with insecticidal activity for biological control of soil-dwelling insect pests of crops (talk Christoph Keel) 24.07.2016 Tours, France Maurhofer Bringolf Monika; Turlings Théodoor; Flury Pascale Christina; Keel Christoph;
International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (IS-MPMI XVII) Talk given at a conference Cell envelope-associated components contribute to pathogenicity towards pest insects and competitiveness of root-colonizing pseudomonads with biocontrol activities (talk Christoph Keel) 17.07.2016 Portland, Oregon, United States of America Flury Pascale Christina; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika; Keel Christoph;
Ecole-chercheurs "L'écologie microbienne” Talk given at a conference Plant-beneficial rhizosphere bacteria with antifungal and insecticidal activities: interactions, metabolites and other exoproducts (talk Christoph Keel) 14.06.2016 Pont-à-Mousson, France Keel Christoph;
74th Annual Swiss Society for Microbiology Meeting Talk given at a conference Fluorescent Pseudomonas bacteria as tools for monitoring and improving the health of agricultural soils in Switzerland (talk Nicola Imperiali) 13.06.2016 Bern, Switzerland Keel Christoph; Turlings Théodoor; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Linnaeus ICE-3 Final Symposium Talk given at a conference The chemical ecology of maize: How can we apply it? (invited talk Ted Turlings) 24.05.2016 Alnarp, Sweden Turlings Théodoor;
HELENA Lecture Series of the Helmholtz Zentrum Individual talk Plant-beneficial rhizosphere bacteria with antifungal and insecticidal activities (talk Christoph Keel) 15.02.2016 Munich, Germany Keel Christoph;
Gordon Research Conference on Plant Volatiles Talk given at a conference Plant VOCs in Agronomy: Chances and Pitfalls (invited talk Ted Turlings) 01.02.2016 Ventura, CA, United States of America Turlings Théodoor;
12ème Rencontres Plant-Bactéries Talk given at a conference Bodyguards of plant roots: beneficial rhizosphere bacteria with antifungal and insecticidal activities (talk Christoph Keel) 11.01.2016 Aussois, France Keel Christoph;


Knowledge transfer events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
Microfaune et microflore, un pas de plus pour la fertilité des sols (PNR 68 - Biologie du sol III, cours no. 17.340 co-organisé avec Agridea) 22.11.2017 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media ‘Quand les bactéries protègent le sol’ (about NRP 68 work of the Keel lab) Science & Vie TV, le MAG spécial de la SCIENCE Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions ‘Quels sols pour demain? Du constat à l’action’ (UNIL program ‘Durabilité et Campus’) Western Switzerland 2017
Video/Film Short film about the NRP68 workshop ‘Biological pest control in the soil’ on 22 November 2017 German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
184666 Towards building microbial consortia for pest control: exploring adaptation to insect hosts and intraspecific diversity of pathogenicity and competition traits in insecticidal pseudomonads 01.05.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)
144621 Hydrocapsules as Trojan horses for the application of biological control agents against root pests 01.06.2012 National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs)
143141 Sustaining and improving soil health with plant-beneficial bacteria 01.05.2013 NRP 68 Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource
143065 Applications of entomopathogenic nematodes for a sustainable control of soil insect pests 01.04.2013 NRP 68 Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource
166632 Exploring the Chemical Ecology of Gastropod-Insect-Plant Interactions 01.06.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) and entomopathogenic bacteria (EPB) have great potential as biological control agents against soil dwelling insect pests. During the first phase of NRP 68 EPN populations were found to be extremely low in Swiss agricultural soils, independent of agricultural practices. The EPN levels in these soils are much lower than in natural habitats. We expect the same for EPB. It is therefore recommended that, in crop fields with soil insect problems, an augmentative approach be used to increase the numbers of these beneficial organisms. The greatest obstacles to an effective application of these biological control agents are the high cost of current application methods and a limited shelf-life. During the second phase we wish to overcome these obstacles by utilizing the knowledge obtained during the first phase in combination with a technique that was developed in a parallel SNF-sponsored economic stimulus project. It concerns a novel application method that is based on encapsulation of EPN and EPB in alginate beads. We wish to improve the beads by supplementing them with useful plant-derived substances. Certain substances will 1) put the EPN in a state of quiescence, which keeps them in good shape while they are embedded in the beads, and others will be used to 2) attract and encourage the pests to feed on the beads. Both of these effects have already been demonstrated to work under laboratory conditions for certain target pests. We will further optimize the beads and then conduct field trials to test their efficacy against highly destructive fly larvae that are a problem in Swiss cabbage and carrot cultivation. We will also test our strategy against an important pest of maize roots that has recently invaded Europe and is already established in Ticino, as well as against a potentially invasive aboveground pest of maize. Hence, the project is expected to result in a ready-to-be-used application method that offers effective protection against several important root pests. These objectives of this second phase project nicely fit the third goal of NRP 68 “Devising concepts and strategies for implementing a sustainable use of soil”.
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