Symbiont succession during embryonic development of the European medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Nov;75(21):6890-5. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01129-09. Epub 2009 Jul 31.


The European medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana, harbors simple microbial communities in the digestive tract and bladder. The colonization history, infection frequency, and growth dynamics of symbionts through host embryogenesis are described using diagnostic PCR and quantitative PCR. Symbiont species displayed diversity in temporal establishment and proliferation through leech development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Biodiversity*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Leeches / growth & development*
  • Leeches / microbiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S