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J Invertebr Pathol. 2008 Jan;97(1):61-9. Epub 2007 Jul 20.

Susceptibility and immune response of Deroceras reticulatum, Milax gagates and Limax pseudoflavus exposed to the slug parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita.

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Department of Evolutionary Biology, Spemannstrasse 37-39, Tüebingen 72076, Germany.


We exposed three slug species (Deroceras reticulatum (Müller), Milax gagates (Draparnaud) and Limax pseudoflavus L.) to the parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita Schneider. P. hermaphrodita was able to cause mortality and feeding inhibition to both D. reticulatum and M. gagates but did not negatively affect L. pseudoflavus. On dissection of surviving L. pseudoflavus large numbers of P. hermaphrodita were found encapsulated in the shell of the slug. We found that by increasing shell size, the slug was able to trap invading nematodes, which could be an immune response to P. hermaphrodita invasion. This is the first report of a slug defense mechanism to inhibit P. hermaphrodita.

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