Aug 26, 1998

Evidence for growth of strains of the plant epiphytic bacterium Erwinia herbicola and transconjugation among the bacterial strains in guts of the silkworm Bombyx mori

Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
K WatanabeM Sato


Growth of plant epiphytic bacteria Erwinia herbicola and Pseudomonas syringae in guts of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, was studied. Fifth instar silkworm larvae were fed artificial diets supplemented with these bacteria for 6 to 12 h followed by uncontaminated diets. At 1, 3, and 6 days after feeding, bacteria were isolated from insect guts and feces. A much larger population of E. herbicola was detected in the samples collected 3 and 6 days after the inoculation than in samples collected after 1 day, indicating that these bacteria grew in the insect gut, while P. syringae was unable to survive. Transconjugation between E. herbicola strains in the insect gut was also examined. First, either a donor or a recipient strain was fed to the insects in artificial diets containing the bacteria during 12 h, and then pairing strains were fed during 12 h after starvation for 12 h. The conjugative plasmid pBPW1::Tn7 was transferred into recipient cells at very high frequencies (10(-1)/recipient after 3 days and 10(-3) after 6 days) in insect guts. Indigenous plasmids of E. herbicola mobilized RSF1010 plasmid into recipient cells at frequencies of 10(-4) in insect guts. These transconjugants were detected in the feces of the insects. Thus, pla...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Phytophthora syringae
Pantoea agglomerans
Poliaspis syringae
Gene Transfer

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