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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018


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Taxonomy and valuation of entomopathogenic nematodes and their symbiotic bacteria

The research work carried out on this theme by our team was initiated by Noël Boemare in the 1980s.

Initially, this work was developed through two fruitful collaborations between N. Boemare in France and R.J. Akhurst in Australia (Akhurst and Boemare, 1988) and between N. Boemare and H. Mauléon in France and in the Caribbean (

Since its creation, the team has contributed to the definition of the bacterial genus Photorhabdus (Boemare et al, 1993), and to the characterization of more than ten bacterial species of Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus (see for example Fischer-Le Saux et al, 1999 ; Tailliez et al, 2006 ; Tailliez et al, 2010 ; Machado et al, 2021).

The team manages a collection of over 150 strains of live preserved entomopathogenic nematodes from all continents (except Antarctica) and a collection of bacteria isolated from nematodes (> 950 isolates). Our collections of nematodes and entomopathogenic bacteria have been associated since 2016 with the Environment pillar of the Agronomic Resource Center for Research ( and

The team regularly enriches its collections of entomopathogenic nematodes and symbiotic bacteria through local collections and through national and international collaborations (see for example Campos-Herrera et al, 2009; Gorgadze et al, 2015; Ferreira et al, 2016; Noujeim et al, 2016; Rehayem et al, 2018).

Our biological resources are exploited in various biocontrol research programs aimed at developing new biological control strategies to manage crop pests (Benfarhat-touzri et al, 2014; Thibord et al, 2017). These biological resources are also valorized through industrial contracts, notably for the development of new antimicrobial molecules produced by Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus (Pantel et al, 2018).


Akhurst, R.J., Boemare, N.E. 1988. A numerical taxonomic study of the genus Xenorhabdus (Enterobacteriaceae) and proposed elevation of the subspecies of X. nematophilus to species. J Gen Microbiol 134, 1835-1845. DOI : 10.1099/00221287-134-7-1835.

Benfarhat-Touzri, D., Amira, A.B., Khedher, S.B., Givaudan, A., Jaoua, S., Tounsi, S. 2014. Combinatorial effect of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki and Photorhabdus luminescens against Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). J Basic Microbiol 54, 1160-1165. DOI : 10.1002/jobm.201300142.

Boemare, N.E., Akhurst, R.J., Mourant, R.G. 1993. DNA relatedness between Xenorhabdus spp. (Enterobacteriaceae), symbiotic bacteria of entomopathogenic nematodes, and a proposal to transfer Xenorhabdus luminescens to a new genus, Photorhabdus gen. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 43, 249-255. DOI : 10.1099/00207713-43-2-249.

Campos-Herrera, R., Tailliez, P., Pages, S., Ginibre, N., Gutierrez, C., Boemare, N.E. 2009. Characterization of Xenorhabdus isolates from La Rioja (Northern Spain) and virulence with and without their symbiotic entomopathogenic nematodes (Nematoda: Steinernematidae). J Invertebr Pathol 102, 173-181. DOI : 10.1016/j.jip.2009.08.007.

Ferreira, T., van Reenen, C.A., Tailliez, P., Pages, S., Malan, A.P., Dicks, L.M.T. 2016. First report of the symbiotic bacterium Xenorhabdus indica associated with the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema yirgalemenseJ Helminthol 90, 108-112. DOI : 10.1017/s0022149x14000583.

Fischer-Le Saux, M., Viallard, V., Brunel, B., Normand, P., Boemare, N.E. 1999. Polyphasic classification of the genus Photorhabdus and proposal of new taxa: P. luminescens subsp. luminescens subsp. nov., P. luminescens subsp. akhurstii subsp. nov., P. luminescens subsp. laumondii subsp. nov., P. temperata sp. nov., P. temperata subsp. temperata subsp. nov. and P. asymbiotica sp. nov. Int J Syst Bacteriol 49 Pt 4, 1645-1656. DOI : 10.1099/00207713-49-4-1645.

Gorgadze, O., Lortkhipanidze, M., Ogier, J.-C., Tailliez, P., Burjanadze, M. 2015Steinernema tbilisiensis sp. n. (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) - A new species of entomopathogenic nematode from Georgia. J Agric Sci Technol, 13 p. DOI : 10.17265/2161-6256/2015.04.005.

Machado, R.A.R., Muller, A., Ghazal, S.M., Thanwisai, A., Pages, S., Bode, H.B., et al. 2021Photorhabdus heterorhabditis subsp. aluminescens subsp. nov., Photorhabdus heterorhabditis subsp. heterorhabditis subsp. nov., Photorhabdus australis subsp. thailandensis subsp. nov., Photorhabdus australis subsp. australis subsp. nov., and Photorhabdus aegyptia sp. nov. isolated from Heterorhabditis entomopathogenic nematodes. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 71. DOI : 10.1099/ijsem.0.004610.

Noujeim, E., Sakr, J., Fanelli, E., Troccoli, A., Pages, S., Tarasco, E., De Luca, F. 2016. Phylogenetic relationships of entomopathogenic nematodes and their bacterial symbionts from coastal areas in Lebanon. Redia 99, 127-137. DOI : 10.19263/redia-99.16.16.

Pantel, L., Florin, T., Dobosz-Bartoszek, M., Racine, E., Sarciaux, M., Serri, M., et al. 2018. Odilorhabdins, antibacterial agents that cause miscoding by binding at a new ribosomal site. Mol Cell 70, 83-94.e87. DOI : 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.03.001.

Rehayem, M., Noujeim, E., Nemer, N., Pages, S., Ogier, J.-C., Thaler, O., Duvic, B. 2018. New insights in biocontrol strategy against Cephalcia tannourinensis, the principal insect defoliator of Lebanese cedars. For Sci 64, 383-391. DOI : 10.1093/forsci/fxx018.

Tailliez, P., Pages, S., Ginibre, N., Boemare, N. 2006. New insight into diversity in the genus Xenorhabdus, including the description of ten novel species. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 56, 2805-2818. DOI : 10.1099/ijs.0.64287-0.

Tailliez, P., Laroui, C., Ginibre, N., Paule, A., Pages, S., Boemare, N. 2010. Phylogeny of Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus based on universally conserved protein-coding sequences and implications for the taxonomy of these two genera. Proposal of new taxa: X. vietnamensis sp. nov., P. luminescens subsp. caribbeanensis subsp. nov., P. luminescens subsp. hainanensis subsp. nov., P. temperata subsp. khanii subsp. nov., P. temperata subsp. tasmaniensis subsp. nov., and the reclassification of P. luminescens subsp. thracensis as P. temperata subsp. thracensis comb. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 60, 1921-1937. DOI : 10.1099/ijs.0.014308-0.

Thibord, J.-B., Larroude, P., Chabert, A., Villeneuve, F., Quilliot, E., Malet, M., et al. 2017. Prévision des risques et élaboration de nouvelles techniques de lutte pour la protection des cultures contre les attaques de taupins. Innov Agron 55, 215-233. DOI : 10.15454/1.5137781155320183e12.