Bioturbation by endogeic earthworms facilitates entomopathogenic nematode movement toward herbivore-damaged maize roots

Sergio Rasmann, Sandrine Fattorre, Zhenggao Xiao, Adrienne Godschalx, Gregory Röder, Ted Turlings & Claire Le Bayon
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) have been extensively studied as potential biological control agents against root-feeding crop pests. Maize roots under rootworm attack have been shown to release volatile organic compounds, such as (E)-β-caryophyllene (Eβc) that guide EPNs toward the damaging larvae. As yet, it is unknown how belowground ecosystems engineers, such as earthworms, affect the biological control capacity of EPNs by altering the root Eβc-mediated tritrophic interactions. We here asked whether and how, the presence of...
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