Biological control of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha and the snail Biomphalaria glabrata, using Gramicidin S and D and molluscicidal strains of Bacillus

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Applications of Final Whole Culture (FWC) or primary powder material from strains of each of four Bacillus species (B. alvei, B. brevis, B. circulans, B. laterosporus) used singly, as well as the antibiotics Gramicidin S (GS) and Gramicidin D (GD) used singly, were found to be molluscicidal against several life cycle stages of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha. Combinations of the bacterial material with either GS or GD were either additive (for GS) or antagonistic (for GD). The smaller the life cycle stage of the animal, the more sensitive it was to either the bacterial or antibiotic agent. The veliger stage was particularly sensitive to each agent, with the molluscicidal effect being more rapid in the veliger (5 h) than in the adult (6 days). The molluscicidal effects of these agents (at 1–100 μ g ml−1) against the veliger stages of the zebra mussel were comparable to the activity of B. thuringiensis and B. sphaericus against their target organisms. These agents used singly were also active against small adult Biomphalaria glabrata, the snail vector of schistosomiasis (eg at tenths of μ g ml−1 of GS).

Received 09 July 1996/ Accepted in revised form 06 November 1996