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Olds College Research Associate Gets Peer-Reviewed Journal Article Published

March 06, 2024

We’re proud to announce Dayani Patuwatha Withanage, Research Associate, Crop Research at Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI), recently had a peer-reviewed journal article published. Withanage's article, “Efficacy of commercially available entomopathogenic nematodes against insect pests of canola in Alberta, Canada,” was recently published in the Journal of Helminthology.

Nematodes are actually very interesting, and can be more easily explained as a good bug eating a bad bug.

An entomopathogenic nematode is a microscopic worm that lives in the soil and eats insects such as root maggots and black cutworms. Since root maggots and black cutworms can negatively affect major field crops such as canola, peas and wheat, finding nematodes that feed on these pests would be very beneficial to producers. Withanage is actively testing a native strain similar to commercially available entomopathogenic nematodes found locally in Alberta, and is currently analyzing if this particular strain of nematode can be used in future pest management applications to help minimize pests in major crops. Withanage’s lab work and experiments are geared towards finding a biological pest control with beneficial nematodes.

Read the article online on the Cambridge University Press and read more about this ongoing research project on our Olds College research project page: Efficacy of Commercially Available Entomopathogenic Nematodes.

See Also:


Strain 213 infected root maggot larva.


Strain 213 inside the cutworm's head and appendages.


Strain 213 infected root maggot turned into a pupa

Efficacy of Commercially Available Entomopathogenic Nematodes

There are two active research projects regarding nematodes at Olds College Centre for Innovation. The first is on assessing the comparative effectiveness of a native entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) species in contrast to two commercially available EPN strains. The second project involves the isolation and taxonomic characterization of plant parasitic nematodes from diverse soil samples, primarily relying on the nematode morphology. Through these efforts, researchers aim to contribute to the development of sustainable pest management strategies and the promotion of ecologically sound agricultural practices.

View Project Page

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