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Fiera C. Detection of food in the gut content of Heteromurus nitidus (Hexapoda: Collembola) by DNA/PCR-based molecular analysis. North Western Journal of Zoology, 10(1), pp. 67-73, 2014.

Abstract: The paper reports a feeding experiment showing that Heteromurus nitidus, a widespread and common springtail species found in a variety of habitats rich in organic matter, was capable of feeding upon nematodes in the laboratory. DNA/PCR based molecular gut analysis of Heteromurus nitidus for two
nematode species, namely Phasmarhabditis hermaphodita and Steinernema feltiae, and one soil alga, Chlorococcum
infusionum, was done in the laboratory using species-specific primer techniques. For detection of nematode
consumption, specific primers were applied: Sf-F-1896 and Sf-R-2080 for S. feltiae and Ph-F-1754 and Ph-R-
1887 for P. hermaphrodita, amplifying a 203- and 154-bp long fragment, respectively. General Chlorococcum
primers targeting a 237-bp long fragment was designed using 18S rDNA-sequences from GenBank. Screening
DNA extracts with nematode-specific primers showed nematode DNA could be detected for 54.7% of H. nitidus feeding on P. hermaphrodita and 66.5 % feeding on S. feltiae. Only 3.8% of H. nitidus was capable of feeding on soil algae. Our results clearly demonstrate that Collembola may also be acultative predators of nematodes.

Keywords: Heteromurus nitidus, gut-content analysis, predator-prey relationship, DNA/PCR, 18S rDNA.


Posted by Cristina Fiera


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