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J Invertebr Pathol. 1995 Jan;65(1):61-7.

Germination of Bacillus thuringiensis spores in bacteriophagous nematodes (Nematoda: Rhabditida).

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Zoology Institute, University of Gent, Belgium.


During screening of Bacillus thuringiensis isolates for nematicidal activity it was observed that spores of B. thuringiensis germinated in the intestine of bacteriophagous nematodes in the presence of antibiotics. This phenomenon was studied more closely by scanning electron microscopy. The nematodes were fed with bacterial spore-crystal mixtures in axenic culture medium supplemented with tetracyclin and chloramphenicol. Germination of spores was rare but was more frequently observed in Panagrellus redivivus than in other nematode species investigated. Germination of spores in the nematode intestine resulted in the colonization of the entire nematode within 24 hr. Crude nematode tissue preparations supported germination and subsequent growth of B. thuringiensis spores and vegetative cells. The mechanism for the loss of antibiotic activity in the nematode intestine is unknown. Since B. thuringiensis requires a nutrient-rich environment for reproduction, e.g., a cadaver, bacteriophagous nematodes may serve as suitable hosts for B. thuringiensis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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