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Damage caused to entomopathogenic nematodes by spray application is generally assessed by observing the viability of the infective juveniles under the microscope. To improve the quality and speed of this observation we developed an image processing technique and tested the efficacy of acetic acid and sodium chloride as chemical stimulants. Because of the lower standard error on the results obtained (0.7 vs 1.7), sodium chloride was eventually selected for all subsequent observations. The viability as observed with the image processing technique rose significantly with the time after the nematodes were suspended in water; however, viability as observed under the microscope was not influenced by the time. These differences can be attributed to the difference in type of stimulant (mechanical vs chemical) used. After nematodes had been in suspension for 3.5 h, the viability as measured using the image processing system was still significantly lower than the viability as measured under the microscope. This difference did not disappear after 24 h at 4, 15 or 24 degrees C. Maintaining nematodes for 24 h at 35 degrees C significantly decreased the viability to 5.9% (microscope) or 11.0% (image processing technique). The decrease in viability as observed with the image processing system corresponded better with the decrease in infectivity (i.e., 13.8%). Our results support further use of the image processing technique, not only to observe the viability of entomopathogenic nematodes but also to count the mobile or total number of nematodes of any species.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNematology
Volume12
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
ISSN1388-5545
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 191912