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Desiccation and storage of Panagrolaimus sp. (strain NFS-24-5)

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Panagrolaimus sp. strain NFS-24-5 has potential to be used as live food for early stages of fish and crustacean species in marine aquaculture. One constraint to its commercialisation is the lack of a method that enables storage of nematodes over a longer time span. The objective of this study was to develop a procedure to transfer nematodes into a dormant state by desiccation. The nematodes were concentrated at densities of 25, 50, 100 and 200 × 103 individials cm−2 on nylon net or cellulose paper, preconditioned for 72 h at 97.3% relative humidity (RH) and then stored at 52.9 or 32.8% RH for 1 week. Cellulose was a better carrier for the nematodes. Survival of the nematodes was reduced only at the highest nematode density on both materials. The water activity of desiccated nematodes was 0.44 and 0.33 at 52.9% and 32.8% RH, respectively, well beyond a point to prevent microbial growth. After storage over a period of 10 weeks at 25 × 103 nematodes cm−2 at 52.9 and 32.8% RH, 92% of the nematodes were still alive. Monitoring the size distribution revealed no changes at 52.9% RH, but there were more of the larger nematodes dying at 32.8% RH in two out of three experiments. The method can be used to store quiescent Panagrolaimus sp. (strain NFS-24-5) for transportation and use in small scale feeding experiments for marine fish and crustacean larvae.

Affiliations: 1: 1Institute for Phytopathology, Department for Biotechnology and Biological Control, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Hermann-Rodewald-Strasse 9, 24118 Kiel, Germany


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