It is postulated by Knuckey (1996) that chitinoclastic
bacteria are responsible for the formation of these abrasion scars once the exoskeletons are scraped off because of frequent abrading, exposing the inner layer of the shell, similar to the "burned spot" disease in other crustaceans (Sandifer & Eldridge 1974).
bacteria associated with shell disease in Penaeus shrimp and the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus).
This in turn suggests that chitinoclastic
bacteria were excluded from the preservational environment during the formation of the deposit and the arthropod fossils contained therein.
The causative agents of lobster shell disease are believed to consist of chitinoclastic
or chitinolytic bacteria have been shown to be involved in a condition denominated "Shell Disease" in crustaceans [21, 22, 27], In the same way, A.
bacteria are generally assumed to cause shell disease, although no single causative agent has been identified in most cases, and fungi have been implicated in some forms (Vogan et al.
Shell disease is the deterioration of the crustacean exoskeleton by chitinoclastic
organisms occurring in both marine and freshwater environments (2).
Another distinction from the more classic presentations of shell disease is that chitin degradation by chitinoclastic
bacteria appears to occur minimally in the lesions (Chistoserdov et al.
Chitinoclastic bacteria comprised a very small traction of bacteria present in the lesions, suggesting that their role in epizootic shell disease may be limited.
We focused, however, on chitinoclastic bacteria able to use crude chitin.
During this long incubation period, many gliding and swarming bacteria would cover the agar, sometimes completely obscuring halos formed around colonies of chitinoclastic bacteria.
We also analyzed by RFLP 16S rRNA genes from the isolated chitinoclastic bacteria as well as bacteria isolated from hemolymph.