Potential role of Diploscapter, a free-living nematode, as a vector of pathogenic bacteria to pre-harvest fruits and vegetables in soil
Gibbs, Daunte Simone
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Diploscapter, a free-living soil nematode commonly found in compost, sewage and agricultural soil within the United States, was studied to determine its role as a vehicle of pathogenic bacteria to pre-harvest produce. Diploscapter’s ability to survive in the presence of pathogenic bacteria on agar media, in soil, compost and cow manure was investigated. Worms survived and reproduced in environments containing Salmonella enterica serotype Poona, enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes. Attraction of Diploscapter to pathogenic bacteria was studied at 10, 20, 30, and 60 minutes and 24 h to assess colonization of bacterial colonies. Diploscapter’s potential to disperse pathogenic bacteria after exposure to agar media and soil environments inoculated with pathogenic bacteria, including compost and manure was investigated. Results exhibit the potential for Diploscapter to disperse pathogenic bacteria after exposure in different environments.