Influence of Xenorhabdus Symbionts on Gonad Development and Pheromone Production of First-Generation Adult Steinernema Nematodes (Nematoda: Steinernematidae)
AuthorRoder, Alexandra Catherine
AdvisorStock, S. Patricia
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 19-Dec-2019
AbstractEntomopathogenic Steinernema nematodes (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) have a mutualistic relationship with Xenorhabdus bacteria (Gamma-Proteobacteria Enterobacteriaceae). The two partners form an insecticidal alliance that is successful in killing a wide range of insects. A few studies have shown that Steinernema IJs have an enhanced virulence and reproductive fitness when they associate with their cognate symbionts. However, there are unanswered questions regarding the physiological interactions that govern and perpetuate the interactions between different nematode developmental stages and their bacterial partners. In this study, we evaluated gonad development and maturation time of first-generation adults of S. carpocapsae and S. feltiae adults when reared under four bacterial scenarios: a) cognate symbiotic, b) non-cognate symbiotic bacterial strain, c) non-cognate symbiotic bacterial species and d) non-symbiotic bacteria (Serratia proteamaculans). For comparative purposes, we also considered adult nematodes reared in vivo in Galleria mellonella larvae to assess nematode development under natural conditions. Furthermore, in this study we also measured production of nematode pheromones (ascarosides), which play a key role in mating and reproduction. For this purpose, we considered in vitro rearing methods (with cognate and non-cognate Xenorhabdus symbionts) to qualitatively and quantitatively characterize ascarosides produced by first-generation adults. Our data showed that for both Steinernema spp. tested, time to adult maturation and gonad development was tightly dependent on the bacterial conditions under which juveniles were reared. However, contrasting results were observed when assessing total body length and gonad size. S. feltiae males and females size (body length and width) and respective gonad length were smaller when reared with a non-cognate symbiotic species. Additionally, non-symbiotic bacteria did not sustain S. feltiae maturation to adult stages. Contrarily, S. carpocapsae juveniles developed to adults when reared with any of the bacterial conditions tested, including with non-symbiotic Serratia proteamaculans. Additionally, S. carpocapsae adults, unlike S. feltiae, did not exhibit enhanced body and gonad size when reared with their cognate symbiont. In fact, S. carpocapsae males and females had larger gonad lengths when reared with a non-cognate symbiotic strain, XnAna (X. nematophila associated with S. anatoliense). S. carpocapsae males and females had significantly underdeveloped gonads when reared with non-symbiotic bacteria. In both Steinernema spp., sex ratio was not impacted by the bacterial condition. However, sex ratio (female:male) S. carpocapsae, decreased from 2:1 to 1:1 when reared with non-symbiotic bacteria. The body and gonad sizes of Steinernema spp. reared in vitro with their cognate symbiont were significantly smaller than those grown in vivo. Ascaroside production in either Steinernema spp. was not significantly impacted by the rearing conditions. In S. carpocapsae, a significant increase in glucoside-1 was observed when the nematodes were reared with cognate or non-cognate bacteria. No detectable quantities of asc-C11 were produced by S. feltiae nematodes when reared with a non-cognate symbiotic bacterial species. We conclude that bacterial symbionts influenced maturation and development of first-generation adults’ in both Steinernema spp. tested in this study. However, response to the bacterial symbionts was species specific. Additionally, this study showed that Xenorhabdus as a food source plays an important role in the type and amount of ascarosides produced by Steinernema spp.
Degree ProgramGraduate College