Respiratory Physiology of a Facultative Anaerobe, Romanomermis culicivorax


  • J. L. Imbriani
  • E. G. Platzer


The respiratory physiology of postparasitic larval and adult Romanornermis culicivorax was studied by manometric and polarographic methods. Endogenous respiration rates were relatively low and unaffected by postemergent development. The respiratory quotient (RQ) of larvae and young adults was 0.4 but increased to 0.7 about 3 wk after emergence. Exogenous glucose (0.02 mM) had no effect on Q[subO][sub2] or RQ. Respiration of adults and larvae was completely inhibited by KCN (l mM) but not by NaN[sub3] (l mM) or 2,4-DNP (0.1 mM). The nematodes survived exposure to cyanide (l mM) for 18 h. Carbon dioxide (10%) inhibited respiration. The postparasitic stages of the nematode were mixed respiratory regulators-conformers. Exposure to anaerohic conditions resulted in an increased postanaerobic oxygen consumption which persisted for 3.5 h. The experiments confirmed that the postemergent stages of the nematode are facultative anaerobes. Key words: oxygen tension, carbon dioxide, respiratory quotient, O[sub2] debt, Mermithidae, Nematoda.