Entomopathogenic nematodes in the genus Steinernema (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) have a mutualistic relationship with Xenorhabdus bacteria (Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae). This partnership however, is pathogenic to a wide range of insect species. Because of their potent insecticidal ability, they have successfully been implemented in biological control and integrated pest management programs worldwide. Steinernema-Xenorhabdus-insect partnerships are extremely diverse and represent a model system in ecology and evolution to investigate symbioses between invertebrates and microbes. The reproductive fitness of the nematode-bacterium partnership is tightly associated, and maintenance of their virulence is critical to the conversion of the insect host as a suitable environment where this partnership can be perpetuated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science