Steinernema feltiae: ammonia triggers the emergence of their infective juveniles
San-Blas, E., Gowen, S. R. and Pembroke, B. (2008) Steinernema feltiae: ammonia triggers the emergence of their infective juveniles. Experimental Parasitology, 119 (1). pp. 180-185. ISSN 0014-4894
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2008.01.008
Entomopathogenic nematodes complete their life cycles inside dead insects. The emergence of new infective juveniles from the cadaver has been attributed (but never demonstrated) to food depletion or to the accumulation of metabolites from the breakdown of the host's tissues. Here we give evidence that emergence is triggered by ammonia, a product of nematode defecation. We found that the emergence of Steinernema feltiae infective juveniles from Galleria mellonella cadavers was stimulated by a particular level of ammonia. Emergence was delayed when ammonia in the cadaver was decreased and was prompted when increased. These findings will further improve the understanding of the nematode life cycle. Here we speculate that production of infective juveniles can be mediated by ammonia and work in a manner analogous to that of the clatter recovery inhibiting factor (DRIF) in Caenorhabditis elegans. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.