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New Zealand Plant Protection 54 (2001): 125-127

Formulation of Serratia entomophila for biological control of grass grub

V.W. Johnson, J. Pearson and T.A. Jackson

ABSTRACT

Cultures of the bacterium Serratia entomophila (Enterobacteriaceae) have been applied as the biological control product Invade® for the control of grass grub for more than a decade. However, the use of the bacterium is limited by the specific requirements of the live microbial cultures for distribution and delivery. The cultures must be maintained under refrigeration and applied through a modified seed drill. To overcome these problems we have developed a system for stabilising the bacterium in a biopolymer matrix, which can then be incorporated into clay-based granules. The resulting formulation can be stored at ambient temperatures for extended periods and applied to the soil through conventional farm machinery. Such thermostable formulations of sensitive micro-organisms are likely to have a wide application in the biological control of pests and diseases.

Keywords: formulation, Serratia entomophila, biocontrol, stability, delivery.

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