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Role of Oxygen in Affecting Survival and Activity of Pelodera Punctata (Rhabditidae) From Sewage Sludge

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For more content, see Nematology.

The effect of oxygen on the survival and activity of Pelodera punctata (Cobb) was investigated. P. punctata was maintained in monoxenic cultures in which Pseudomonas fluorescens was the bacterial food source. When nematodes were kept for 2 weeks under a reducing and anaerobic atmosphere, 28 to 40% of the cultures survived. The effect of pO2 and pCO2 on activity was determined by sealing the cultures and subsequently monitoring the activity and gas concentrations using gas chromatography. A pO2 of greater than 7000 dyne cm-2 (5 mm Hg) was necessary to sustain activity while pCO2 showed no effect at the concentrations observed. These findings were discussed with regard to role of rhabditid nematodes in sewage sludge which is often deficient in oxygen.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, College of Environmental Science and Forestry S.U.N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y. 13210, U.S.A.


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