Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are obligate parasites to insects. They are natural enemies of numerous insects, which employ mutually related bacterial symbionts to rapidly kill their insect host. They are among the frequently used beneficial biocontrol agents of numerous insect pests in agriculture, forestry and health. These EPNs are continuing to constitute a great deal of interest for both scientists and industries. This is demonstrated from the breadth of research activities on EPNs in many countries throughout the world. More scientists are becoming trained in working with EPNs and the number of newly discovered EPN species is increasing. In South Africa (S.A.) although various studies have revealed an incredible richness of EPNs fauna with potential use as bio-control agents adapted to some soil texture and environmental conditions and underline the value of conducting more intensive surveys in natural and different parts of the country, few studies have been done in this area. This review gives an overview of the EPNs genera that include the main bio-control agents. The main species of EPNs and their symbiotic bacteria, interaction, associated effects on the insects’ host, as well as their use and main insects’ hosts range in S.A are described. In addition, their production technology is also discussed.
Key words: Entomopathogenic nematodes, symbiotic bacteria, bio-control, South Africa, mass production.
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