Bacterial Feeders, the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the Flagellate Cercomonas longicauda, have different Effects on Outcome of Competition among the Pseudomonas Biocontrol Strains CHA0 and DSS73
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- Pedersen, A.L., Nybroe, O., Winding, A. et al. Microb Ecol (2009) 57: 501. doi:10.1007/s00248-008-9455-y
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How bacterial feeding fauna affects colonization and survival of bacteria in soil is not well understood, which constrains the applicability of bacterial inoculants in agriculture. This study aimed to unravel how food quality of bacteria and bacterial feeders with different feeding habits (the selective feeding flagellate Cercomonas longicauda versus the non-selective feeding nematode Caenorhabditis elegans) influence the abundance of two bacteria that compete for resources in simple model communities. Microcosms consisted of either one gfp-tagged bacterial strain (Pseudomonas fluorescens DSM50090 or one of two biocontrol strains P. fluorescens CHA0 or Pseudomonas sp. DSS73) or combinations of two bacterial strains. DSM50090 is a suitable food bacterium, DSS73 is of intermediate food quality, and CHA0 is inedible to the bacterial feeders. Bacterial and protozoan cell numbers were measured by flow cytometry. In the presence of flagellates, CHA0 increased its abundance as compared to the other biocontrol strain DSS73 or to DSM50090, which were both eaten by the flagellates. In contrast, the number of CHA0 declined as compared to DSS73 when the model community was subjected to nematode predation pressure. Hence, the results suggested that the outcome of competition among bacteria depended on their ability to cope with the prevailing bacterial predator.