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Susceptibility of the Giant African snail (Achatina fulica) exposed to the gastropod parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita

Williams, AJ and Rae, R (2015) Susceptibility of the Giant African snail (Achatina fulica) exposed to the gastropod parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita. JOURNAL OF INVERTEBRATE PATHOLOGY, 127. pp. 122-126. ISSN 0022-2011

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Abstract

The Giant African snail (Achatina fulica) is a major pest in tropical countries. Current control methods involve the use of slug pellets (metaldehyde) but they are ineffective, therefore new methods of control are needed. We investigated whether A. fulica is susceptible to the gastropod parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, which has been developed as a biological control agent for slugs and snails in northern Europe. We exposed A. fulica to P. hermaphrodita applied at 30 and 150nematodes per cm(2) for 70days and also assessed feeding inhibition and changes in snail weight. We show that unlike the susceptible slug species Deroceras panormitanum, which is killed less than 30days of exposure to P. hermaphrodita, A. fulica is remarkably resistant to the nematode at both doses. Also P. hermaphrodita does not reduce feeding in A. fulica nor did it have any effect on weight gain over 70days. Upon dissection of infected A. fulica we found that hundreds of P. hermaphrodita had been encapsulated, trapped and killed in the snail's shell. We found that A. fulica is able to begin encapsulating P. hermaphrodita after just 3days of exposure and the numbers of nematodes encapsulated increased over time. Taken together, we have shown that A. fulica is highly resistant to P. hermaphrodita, which could be due to an immune response dependent on the snail shell to encapsulate and kill invading parasitic nematodes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0608 Zoology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE
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Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2016 15:05
Last Modified: 01 May 2016 23:50
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.jip.2015.03.012
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2904

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