Liquid culture of the entomopathogenic nematode-bacterium-complex Heterorhabditis megidis/Photorhabdus luminescens

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A process technology for production of the entomopathogenic biocontrol nematode-bacterium complex Heterorhabditis megidis/Photorhabdus luminescens in monoxenic liquid culture in laboratory scale bioreactors is described. Dauer juvenile yields varied between 21 and 68 million dauer juveniles/l medium. The maximum density was reached at 13 to 25 days after inoculation of P. luminescens. The reason for the high variability in yield was identified. After the 24-h bacterial preculture the bioreactor is inoculated with nematode dauer juveniles which develop to self-fertilizing hermaphrodites. The exit from enduring dauer stages (recovery) was between 18 and 90% of the inoculum density. Low dauer juvenile recovery resulted in the development of two-generations within 20 to 25 days. In contrast, high dauer juvenile recovery led to a one-generation process terminated within 15 days. Factors influencing dauer recovery are still unknown.

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