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Antibacterial activity in the haemocytes of the shore crab, Carcinus maenas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2009

June R. S. Chisholm
Affiliation:
Department of Biology and Preclinical Medicine, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8LB.
Valerie J. Smith*
Affiliation:
Department of Biology and Preclinical Medicine, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8LB.
*
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed

Extract

The presence of antibacterial activity in the haemocytes of the shore crab, Carcinus maenas (L.) (Crustacea: Decapoda), was investigated using a selection of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria from geographically diverse waters. Preliminary investigations into the relationship between this activity and the prophenoloxidase activating system (proPO) were also carried out. Antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms were found to reside exclusively in the granular haemocytes and eight of the twelve bacteria tested were susceptible to this effect. Additional studies, using Psychrobacter immobilis (= Moraxella sp.), revealed that the factor (or factors) responsible was 90% effective within 60 min and was also heat stable, independent of divalent cations, and non-lytic in character. Although antibacterial activity resides in the same cell population that carries the proPO system, there appears to be no relationship between antibacterial activity and phenoloxidase itself. Other components of the proPO system, however, may be involved.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1992

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