Antagonism of Bacterial Extracellular Metabolites to Freshwater-Fouling Invertebrate Zebra Mussels, Dreissena polymorpha

Ji Dong Gu*, Ralph Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We investigated the antagonism of indigenous bacteria isolated from stressed mussels and their extracellular metabolites on the adult zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha Selective bacterial isolates including Aeromonas media, A. salmonicida, A. veronii, and Shewanella putrefaciens, showed strong lethality against adult mussels and 100% mortality was observed within 5 days of incubation. Bacterial metabolites, fractionated and concentrated from stationary-phase culture supernatants of these bacterial isolates, displayed varying degrees of antagonistic effects on zebra mussels. Among the three size fractions examined, <5, 5-10, and >10 kDa, the most lethal fraction seems to be >10 kDa for three of the four isolates tested. Further chemical analyses of these size fractions revealed that the predominant constituents were polysaccharides and proteins. No 2-keto-3-deoxyoctanoic acid (2-KDO), deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) or uronic acid were detectable. Extraction of supernatants of two antagonistic isolates with polar solvent suggested that polar molecules are present in the active fraction. Our data suggest that extracellular metabolites produced by antagonistic bacteria are also involved in disease development in zebra mussels and elucidation of the mechanisms involved may offer a novel strategy for control of biofouling invertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Antagonism
  • Bacterial isolate
  • Biological control
  • Dreissena polymorpha
  • Metabolites
  • Mortality
  • Zebra mussels


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