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Gut bacteria associated with the Pacific Coast wireworm, Limonius canus, inferred from 16s rDNA sequences and their implications for control

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A multitude of bacteria have been isolated from the guts of several insect species. Some of these have been modified to interfere with the development of the host insect or with the development and transmission of plant and animal pathogens transmitted by the host insect. We surveyed the gut flora of the Pacific Coast wireworm, Limonius canus LeConte, a serious pest of potato, at two sites in Oregon and Washington. Isolates were obtained from surface-sterilized triturated larvae by dilution plating on standard media. A rich diversity of species was found in 86 isolates, including spore-formers, non-spore-formers and aerobic and facultatively anaerobic species collected on four sampling dates at each location. Twenty-one of the isolates were identified to species based on rDNA sequence (nine distinct species). An additional 34 isolates were identified to genus from the sequence data while six isolates could be assigned only to family based on sequence comparisons. Twenty-seven additional isolates were identified to species (9), genus (17) or family (1) based on side-by-side morphological comparisons with isolates identified from rDNA sequence. The most frequently isolated bacterium was Bacillus megaterium, followed by Rahnella aquatilis. A naturally occurring bacterium found in the gut and/or environment of a targeted insect that is modified to express toxins or other detrimental substances could provide certain advantages (such as persistence and recycling) over inundatively applied microbial control agents, particularly within soil habitats. The hypothesis that these species or others from the survey represent candidates for genetic modification to provide control options for L. canus is discussed.
Lacey, L.A. , Unruh, T.R. , Simkins, H. , Thomsen-Archer, K.
Includes references
Phytoparasitica 2007 Oct., v. 35, no. 5
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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