Abstract

We used molecular techniques to characterize bacteria associated with the nematomorph Gordius robustus (Leidy). This worm is a parasite of the fall field cricket, Gryllus pennsylvanicus (Burmeister), which is infected with the symbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia. Because of this close association, our a priori expectation was that G. robustus may be similarly infected. However, results of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing of amplified 16S rDNA failed to detect any bacteria (symbiotic or non-symbiotic) in G. robustus. These unexpected findings suggest that G. robustus has no internal bacterial community and indicate that close association with a Wolbachia-infected host is insufficient for the transmission of bacteria from insect to nematomorph.

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