Anhydrobiosis in Nematodes II: Carbohydrate and Lipid Analysis in Undesiccated and Desiccate Nematodes


  • Christopher Womersley
  • Stewart N. Thompson
  • Lawrence Smith


Glycogen, trehalose, glucose, and total lipid contents of six nematode species were studied. Anhydrobiotic Anguina tritici and Ditylencbus dipsaci stored trehalose in preference to glycogen and only small amounts of glucose were detected. Glycogen content was also reduced in anhydrobiotic Aphelenchus avenae. Conversely, Panagrellus redivivus and Turbatrix aceti contained large amounts of glycogen, appreciable amounts of glucose, and minimal amounts of trehalose. Ditylenchus myceliophagous "curds" contained low amounts of glycogen and very little trehalose; total lipid was 60% of that in fresh samples. The lipid contents of fresh samples of P. redivivus, T. aceti, and A. avenae were high (23.1, 21.9, and 36.7% dry weight, respectively), but in anhydrobiotic A. avenae larvae the level was reduced by over 60%. In contrast, lipid levels remained high in anhydrobiotic A. tritici and D. dipsaci larvae (40.6 and 38.3%, respectively). Analysis of lipid composition in anhydrobiotic A. tritici and A. avenae did not indicate any specific metabolic adaptations to desiccation survival. Key words: physiology, Anguina tritici, Ditylenchus dipsaci, D. myceliophagous, Panagrellus redivivus, Turbatrix aceti.