Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) of the genera Steinernema and Heterorhabditis and their associated symbiotic bacteria of the genera Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus, are efficient biological control agents, due to their ease of culture, their high fatality against key insect pests and their safety in use. However, their commercial utilisation is limited by their finite shelf life, both in storage and in formulations. Thus, efficient storage in the formulation of EPNs is essential so as to attain success in integrated insect pest management strategies. This paper reviews the latest information that is available on EPN storage, formulation, quality and application methods, coupled with improvement strategies for the effective control of insects. Nematode survival mechanisms investigated were heat and cold tolerance, desiccation, osmotic stress, hypoxia and energy reserves, among others, in storage, field or formulations. Their influence on the formulation of EPNs is also discussed.
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Vol. 25 • No. 2