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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1978 Sep;36(3):500-5.

Ecological relationship between Vibrio parahaemolyticus and agar-digesting vibrios as evidenced by bacteriophage susceptibility patterns.


Twenty bacteriophages active against Vibrio parahaemolyticus and agar-digesting vibrios, isolated from oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) and by induction of a lysogenic agar digester, were tested as to their host range. These phages were specific for V. parahaemolyticus and various agar-digesting vibrios, and interspecies lysis occurred only between these two groups. V. alginolyticus, V. anguillarum and related species, V. cholerae, and a group of marine psychrophilic and psychrotrophic vibrios were not affected. No correlation was observed between the O and K serotypes of V. parahaemolyticus strains and bacteriophage susceptibility patterns, and 7 of 28 strains of V. parahaemolyticus were not lysed by any of the phages. Only two of the phage isolates were capable of lysing all susceptible V. parahaemolyticus strains. No correlation was observed between the inter-and intraspecies genetic relatedness (DNA homologies) of V. parahaemolyticus and agar-digesting vibrios and susceptibility patterns to different bacteriophages. Some of the phages were capable of plaque formation on V. parahaemolyticus as well as on some strains of agar-digesting vibrios that were separated by 70 to 80% differences in their DNA homologies. The possible ecological significance of these vibrio bacteriophages, particularly those having a wide host range, is discussed.

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