Unilateral to bilateral distribution pattern of the pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus within bodies of the insect vector Monochamus alternatus depends on nematode load

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Monochamus alternatus adults carry the pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. The nematodes are present in the tracheal system of vector beetles. It is known that carrying more than 10 000 nematodes causes drastic reduction in the lifespan and flight activity of beetles. To understand the effects of heavy nematode loads, 41 newly emerged M. alternatus adults were examined for lateral distribution of nematodes within the insect body. The nematodes were distributed unevenly between right and left sides of the beetle body at small nematode loads, whereas they were distributed evenly between them at heavy nematode loads. An analysis using Hagen-Poiseuille flow in a thin tube suggested that the rate of air flow decreased exponentially as the number of nematodes increased in a trachea. Thus, even distribution of nematodes between right and left sides of the vector body was considered to be responsible in part for the effects of heavy nematode loads on beetle activity.

Nematology

International Journal of Fundamental and Applied Nematological Research

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References

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Figures

  • Relation between the number of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus carried by Monochamus alternatus adults and the proportions of nematodes present on the right side of the beetle body. A horizontal broken line indicates 50%.

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  • Relation between the number of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus carried by Monochamus alternatus adults and the absolute value of difference between the percent of nematodes present on the right side of the body and expectation of 50%.

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  • Relation between the number of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus occupying a cross-sectional area of a trachea, and the relative speed of air flow in the nematode-present trachea compared to that in nematode-free trachea. The r value indicates the radius (μm) of nematode-free trachea. Qi and Qf represent air flow rates in tracheae infested and non-infested with nematodes, respectively, estimated using Hagen-Poiseuille flow.

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