African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6849

Full Length Research Paper

Enteric bacteria and fungi of the Eudrilid earthworm Libyodrilus violaceus

Owa, S. O.1*, Olowoparija, S. B.2, Aladesida, A.3 and Dedeke, G. A.1
1Department of Plant Science and Applied Zoology, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria. 2Department of Microbiology, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria. 3Department of Biological Sciences, Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 July 2011
  •  Published: 09 May 2013


The identity and multiplication of bacteria and fungi (yeasts and mould) as they pass along the alimentary tract of the earthworm Libyodrilus violaceus have been studied. The bacteria isolated included Acinetobacter sp., Alcaligans faecalis, Bacillus brevis, Bacillus ceveus, Bacillus lalerosporus, Bacillus lichenoform, Bacillus maceraus, Bacillus sp., Corynebacterium sp., Enterobacter cloacae, Erwinia salicie, Flavobacterium aquartile, Flavobacterium sp., Klebsiella sp., Micrococcus inteus, Micrococcus kristinae, Micrococcus varians, Proteus myxofasciens, Proteus rennevi, Proteus vulgaris and Pseudomonas sp. Whereas P. vulgaris is a normal harmless inhabitant of the human intestine where it assist with digestion, it sometimes becomes pathogenic causing urinary tract infection. For now there is no information on if it undergoes similar change in the earthworms and if such a potential risk is transmissible to man. The fungi isolated included the following yeasts: Saccharomycos cerevisiae, Rhodoturula graminis, Saccharomycos sp., Candida valida, Geotrichium niger; and the following moulds: Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Fusarium sp., Rhizopus sp. It is noteworthy that none of the fungi has the ability to digest melobiose, a disaccharide formed by an alpha linkage between galactose and glucose. Microbial counts increases along the alimentary track from eosophagus to rectum. Most of the microbes flourish best in an alimentary track region than in others. Thus, they tend to colonize different regions and thus minimize  competition.


Key words: Eudrilidae, earthworm microbiology, agricultural microbiology, earthworm zoonosis, earthworm-microbe mutualism, soil microbiology.