BMC Research Notes
Biomedical Research--methods; Drosophila melanogaster; Host-Parasite Interactions; Nematoda; Symbiosis; Xenorhabdus
BACKGROUND: Steinernema carpocapsae are parasitic nematodes that invade and kill insects. The nematodes are mutualistically associated with the bacteria Xenorhabdus nematophila and together form an excellent model to study pathogen infection processes and host anti-nematode/antibacterial immune responses. To determine the contribution of S. carpocapsae and their associated X. nematophila to the successful infection of insects as well as to investigate the interaction of each mutualistic partner with the insect immune system, it is important to develop and establish robust methods for generating nematodes devoid of their bacteria.
FINDINGS: To produce S. carpocapsae nematodes without their associated X. nematophila bacteria, we have modified a previous method, which involves the use of a X. nematophila rpoS mutant strain that fails to colonize the intestine of the worms. We confirmed the absence of bacteria in the nematodes using a molecular diagnostic and two rounds of an axenicity assay involving appropriate antibiotics and nematode surface sterilization. We used axenic and symbiotic S. carpocapsae to infect Drosophila melanogaster larvae and found that both types of nematodes were able to cause insect death at similar rates.
CONCLUSION: Generation of entomopathogenic nematodes lacking their mutualistic bacteria provides an excellent tool to dissect the molecular and genetic basis of nematode parasitism and to identify the insect host immune factors that participate in the immune response against nematode infections.
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Yadav, S., Shokal, U., Forst, S., & Eleftherianos, I. (2015). An improved method for generating axenic entomopathogenic nematodes microbiology. BMC Research Notes, 8(1) doi:10.1186/s13104-015-1443-y