Pheromones Give Nematodes a Boost in Controlling Pests (Phys.org)

Pheromones Give Nematodes a Boost in Controlling Pests

UF Innovate alumni startup Pheronym, an ag-biotech pest control company that develops and produces nematode pheromones that can be used to direct beneficial nematode behavior, has established a cooperative research agreement with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

The ARS team, Pheronym CEO Fatma Kaplan, and Ed Lewis, head of the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Nematology at the University of Idaho—tested the efficacy of Pheronym’s beneficial nematodes exposed to pheromone extracts. The research showed that pheromone induced nematodes were 28 to 78 percent more effective in controlling pecan weevils and black soldier flies in greenhouse soil than non-exposed nematodes. In addition, a higher number of pheromone-treated nematodes invaded insect larvae compared to the non-treated nematodes.

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