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nematodes and fungi

Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D gmclaugh at iupui.edu
Mon Oct 12 12:59:05 EST 1998


You might want to confirm that this is a fungus; plate it out and send it
to a mycologist.  Streptomyces species are very common and superficially
look very much like filamentous fungi.  Fungi are increasingly recognized
as important mutualists for plant roots, but this is the first time I've
seen anyone suggest that they help digestion processes for nematodes or
animals.  In general, bacteria have the types of enzymes (e.g. cellulases)
that are crucial to digestion, rather than eukaryotic flora.


At 11:44 AM 10/12/98 +0000, TRPLATT wrote:
>Last summer, I participated in a suvery of vertebrate parasites at the
Area de
>Conservacion, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. One of the turtle species, Rhinoclemmys
>pulcherrima, a terrestrial herbivore, was uniformly infected with large
>(>10,000) of two species of nematodes tentatively identified as Atractis.
>of these nematodes had large numbers of fungal hyphae associated with the
>cuticle. We have fixed specimens for EM work, but this has not been done yet.
>Due to the uniformity of infection, I suspect a mutualistic relationship
>the nematode and fungi are assisting in the digestion of the plant material
>that makes up the bulk of the turtle's diet. Does anyone have any information
>on similar relationships reported in the literature? Any information would be
>greatly appreciated.
>Tom Platt
>Associate Professor
>Department of Biology
>Saint Mary's College
>Notre Dame, IN 46556
Gerald McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dept Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
635 Barnhill Drive, MS A128
Indianapolis, IN  46202-5120
317-274-2651; FAX 317-278-2018
E-mail:  gmclaugh at iupui.edu

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