New entomopathogenic nematodes from semi-natural and small-holder farming habitats of Rwanda

Xun Yan, Bancy Waweru, Xuehong Qiu, Athanase Hategekimana, Joelle Kajuga, Hongmei Li, Steve Edgington, Christine Umulisa, Richou Han, Stefan Toepfer

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Five field surveys for indigenous entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) were conducted in 22 semi-natural and 17 small-holder farming habitats across 16 districts of different altitudes in the northern, eastern, southern and Kigali city provinces of Rwanda. In 2014, 216 mixed soil samples were collected and subsamples thereof baited with Galleria mellonella or Tenebrio molitor larvae. Five samples from five locations and habitats were positive for nematodes (2.8%). Nine nematode species/strains were isolated and five successfully maintained. DNA sequence comparisons and morphological examinations revealed Steinernema carpocapsae, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, as well as two steinernematids and one heterorhabditid with no species designation. The isolates (strains) were named Steinernema sp. RW14-M-C2a-3, Steinernema sp. RW14-M-C2b-1, Steinernema carpocapsae RW14-G-R3a-2, H. bacteriophora RW14-N-C4a and Heterorhabditis sp. RW14-K-Ca. These are the first records of naturally occurring EPNs in Rwanda. It is also the first record of S. carpocapsae from Africa. Finding H. bacteriophora from tropical rather than temperate Africa was surprising. The found nematodes will serve as the basis for efficacy screening, and for mass production in a biocontrol agent factory at Rubona Research Centre of the Rwanda Agriculture Board with the ultimate aim of delivering effective, safe and environmentally benign pest control for soil-inhabiting pests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-834
Number of pages15
JournalBiocontrol Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2 2016


  • East Africa
  • Heterorhabditis
  • Inundative biological control
  • Steinernema
  • entomoparastic nematodes
  • molecular and morphological identification
  • technology transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science

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    Yan, X., Waweru, B., Qiu, X., Hategekimana, A., Kajuga, J., Li, H., Edgington, S., Umulisa, C., Han, R., & Toepfer, S. (2016). New entomopathogenic nematodes from semi-natural and small-holder farming habitats of Rwanda. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 26(6), 820-834.