John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

A highly efficient non‐chemical method for isolating live nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) from soil during toxicity assays

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The success of soil toxicity tests using Caenorhabditis elegans may depend in large part on recovering the organisms from the soil. However, it can be difficult to learn the ISO/ASTM recovery process that uses the colloidal silica flotation method. The present study determined that a soil‐agar isolation method provides a highly efficient and less technically demanding alternative to the colloidal silica flotation method. Test soil containing C. elegans was arranged on an agar plate in a donut shape, a linear shape, or a C‐curve, and microbial food was placed outside the soil to encourage the nematodes to leave the soil. The effects of ventilation and the presence of food on nematode recovery were tested to determine the optimal conditions for recovery. A linear arrangement of soil on an agar plate that was sprinkled with microbial food produced nearly 83% and 90% recovery of live nematodes over a 3‐h and 24‐h period, respectively, without subjecting the nematodes to chemical stress. The method was tested using copper (II) chloride dihydrate, and the resulting recovery rate was comparable to that obtained using colloidal silica flotation. The soil‐agar isolation method presented here enables live nematodes to be isolated with minimal additional physicochemical stress, making it a valuable option for use in subsequent sub‐lethal tests where live nematodes are required. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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