Growth of Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood in honey bees and Bacillus popilliae, the causative agent of milky disease in beetle larvae in lepidopteran cell cultures
Steinkraus, K.H.; Granados, R.R.; Mckenna, K.A.; Villani, M.G.; Robbins, P.S.; Mortlock, R.P.
Acta Biotechnologica 18(2): 123-133
TNM-FH Lepidopteran insect cell culture medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), while allowing limited vegetative growth of Paenibacillus larvae (wild-type strain), the causative agent of American foulbrood, contained no viable vegetative cells upon subculture, nor were any heat resistant spores produced in this medium alone. However, TNM-FH medium containing embryonic or midgut cells from Trichoplusia ni, hemocytes from Estigmene acrea, ovarian and embryonic cells from Spodoptera frugiperda, embryonic cells from Plutella xylostella, Spodoptera exigua and Pseudaletia unipuncta or ovarian cells from Lymantria dispar, supported both heavy vegetative cell growth and moderate production of heat resistant spores. EX-CELL 405 serum-free insect cell culture medium alone appeared to contain the appropriate nutrients required for both vegetative growth and sporulation of P. larvae. However, in the presence of embryonic cells from T. ni, limited vegetative growth occurred and the P. larvae cells appeared to die off. This was confirmed by the fact that no colony growth occurred upon subculture, nor were any heat resistant spores detected. This was true also in the presence of fat body cells from T. ni, except that a limited number of spores (4,000/ml) were detected in the form of colony-forming units (CFU) on plates following heating to 80degreeC for 20 minutes. In a parallel study with a wild-type strain of Bacillus popilliae, vegetative cells grew only in TNM-FH medium in the presence of mid-gut BTI-Tn-MG and ovarian (Tn-368) cells of T. ni. No heat resistant spores, however, were detected in any of the cultures. When BTI-Tn-MG and Tn-368 cells were further challenged with four variant cultures of B. popilliae, vegetative growth and limited sporulation were achieved. The BTI-Tn-MG cell line in TNM-FH medium produced as many as 12,000 spores/ml after 21 days in culture.