Review of Pasteuria penetrans: Biology, Ecology, and Biological Control Potential.
Soils from 320 sites representing diverse undisturbed habitats from five Hawaiian Islands were assessed for occurrence of Pasteuria-like organisms. Mean annual rainfall at sites ranged from 125-350 cm, elevation from 69-2,286 m, and annual mean temperature from 12-24 C. Seven different natural communities were represented: wet lowland, mesic lowland, wet montane, mesk montane, dry montane, mesic subalpine, and dry alpine. Pasteuria spp. in a soil sample was detected by baiting with infective stages of Helicotylenchus dihystera, Meloidogyne javanica, Pratylenchus brachyurus, and Rotylenchulus reniformis, followed by cultivation of the nematodes on pineapple plants for 10-11 months. All nematode baits except R. reniformis were readily recovered from the soil samples. A sample was considered Pasteuria-positive if at least 5 % of the nematode specimens showed endospore attachment. Thirteen percent of all samples were positive for Pasteuria-like organisms. The frequencies of association between Pasteuria spp. and Meloidogyne, Helicotylenchus, or Pratylenchus species were 52%, 24%, and 24%, respectively. Positive samples were more prevalent on the older islands of Kauai and Oahu (75%), in lowland communities (61%), and in areas with introduced vegetation (60%). More than 27% of the positive samples were associated with plant species in a few selected families that included Meliaceae and Myrtaceae. Occurrence of Pasteuria spp. seemed to be positively associated with mean annual rainfall or temperature, but negatively associated with elevation.