Differential Predation by Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus 109J
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Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is a predatory bacterium that can replicate only inside Gram-negative bacteria. We incubated B. bacteriovorus 109J in a mixture of two prey cells present in equal numbers and enumerated prey cells after 3 h of predation. In multiple prey pairings, B. bacteriovorus preferentially lysed on one prey over the other. When prey were individually incubated with B. bacteriovorus, they were preyed on with different efficiencies. Three prey had only 5–8% of cells remaining after Bdellovibrio predation and the other three prey had 37–43% of cells remaining. Timing of attachment of B. bacteriovorus to prey cells also varied with Bdellovibrio attachment to more preferred prey occurring the fastest. These results suggest that B. bacteriovorus 109J does not randomly infect prey cells but infects and kills some prey more readily than others.
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