A Field Survey of Molluscicide-Degrading Microorganisms in the Caribbean Area

Frank J. EtgesDepartments of Biological Sciences and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221

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Emily J. BellDepartments of Biological Sciences and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221

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Bruce E. IvinsDepartments of Biological Sciences and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221

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Employing a bacteriologic medium in which the sole nitrogen source was the organic molluscicide. Bayluscide,® isolations were made of organisms from more than 40 field and laboratory sites in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, and Venezuela. Materials were subcultured four times, then selected strains isolated from the snail Biomphalaria glabrata were subjected to standard diagnostic procedures. In all, six different bacterial strains were identified as members of the genus Pseudomonas and two as members of the genus Aerobacter. Distribution of molluscicide-utilizing bacteria was practically universal, being found in water, sediment, and snail intestinal contents. Bacteria were associated with 15 species of mollusk tested for the presence of such organisms. The possible significance of molluscicide-degrading organisms, relative to snail control projects, is discussed.

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