Abstract

The nematophagous fungus Duddingtonia flagrans has been investigated as a biological agent for the control of gastrointestinal nematodes infecting domestic animals in other countries. However, D. flagrans has not been detected in China. In this study 1,135 samples were examined from 2012 to 2014; 4 D. flagrans isolates (SDH 035, SDH 091, SFH 089, SFG 170) were obtained from the feces of domestic animals and dung compost. The 4 isolates were then characterized morphologically. The SDH 035 strain was characterized by sequencing the ITS1–5.8S rDNA–ITS2 region. A BLAST search showed that the SDH 035 strain (GenBank KP257593) was 100% identical to Arthrobotrys flagrans (AF106520) and was identified as D. flagrans. The morphological plasticity of the isolated strain and the interaction of this strain with the nematode targets were observed by subjecting the infected trichostrongylide L3 to scanning electron microscopy. At 6 and 8 hr after trichostrongylide L3 was added, hyphal ramifications were observed and L3 were captured, respectively. Scanning electron micrographs were obtained at 0, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, and 48 hr, where 0 is the time when trichostrongylide L3 were first captured by the fungus. The details of the capture process by the fungus are also described. Chlamydospores were observed in the body of L3 in the late stage of digestion. A sticky substance and bacteria could be observed in contact areas between predation structures and nematode cuticle.

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