Notes on the Bacterium Clostridium Pasteurianum Affecting a Free-Living Nematode

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Banage B. W.
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During an ecological study on Dorylainlll ssp. it was found that this nematode was attacked by a bacterium. The nematode is large, measuring about 3 mm. in length and appears to be an undescribed species. Besides the toxicity of their metabolic products,the bacteria chemically attack the cuticle of the nematodes and eventually kill them. They may be able to do this with the help of the fatty acids, produced in close proximity to the cuticle. Alternatively, the action of the bacteria may be due to the production of proteolytic exo-enzymes, like those produced by Clostridium histolyticum and C.perfringens (= C. welchii). These exo-enzymes are known to digest the nematode cuticle due to the activity of a collagenase. Regardless of how it is brought about, it would seem that it is by this localized action that the bacteria, under suitable conditions,reduce the numbers of nematodes in natural habitats, since any metabolic products released into the soil at large would presumably be soon diluted or neutralized by the soil buffer system.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, xxx (No 3), p. 311-313