Are germ-free worm colonies possible?

John Trimble jjtfa1 at
Wed Aug 9 17:07:55 EST 2000

Greetings colleagues,

I have a probably half-baked idea for an undergraduate research project 
that would be well served with a little advice from the subscribers of the 
annelida list serve.  

So... Could a group of undergraduates try to establish a gnotobiotic or 
germ-free colony of annelids, such as earthworms?  

I have found references about fungi, protozoans and bacteria having a role 
in worm diets but wonder if it might be possible to establish worms without 
living material as a food source or whether annelids might always require a 
symbiotic microflora?  

And how might we begin to approach this?

Your advice and perspective will be very appreciated.
Thank you.

John J. Trimble, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Biology Department
Saint Francis College
Loretto, PA 15940
(814) 472-3319
Fax (814) 472-3356
<jjtfa1 at>

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