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Abstract

To determine whether embryogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans is typical for nematodes in general, we started to analyse in comparison several aspects of development in various nematode species. The differences we observed can be subdivided into two classes, those visible in the intact embryo and those requiring experimental interference. Particularly obvious differences of both types were revealed between C. elegans (Rhabditidae) and Acrobeloides nanus (Cephalobidae). Not only does the spatial and temporal pattern of early events differ but also that of intercellular communication and cell specification. Our data suggest that some developmental variations are characteristic for certain nematode groups and therefore may be useful as phylogenetic markers. In contrast, we detected little evidence so far for environmental influence on early developmental processes. Pour déterminer dans quelle mesure l’embryogenèse de Caenorhabditis elegans est une caractéristique générale des nématodes, nous avons commencé l’analyse de plusieurs aspects du développement chez différentes espèces de nématodes. Les différences observées peuvent être divisées en deux catégories: celles observables chez l’embryon intact et celles nécessitant une intervention expérimentale. En particulier, des différences nettes entre les deux catégories ont été mises en évidence chez C. elegans (Rhabditidae) et Acrobeloides nanus (Cephalobidae). Diffèrent non seulement le schéma spatio-temporel des évènements précoces, mais également la communication intercellulaire et la différenciation cellulaire. Nos données suggèrent que certaines variations du développement sont caractéristiques de certains groupes de nématodes et pourraient donc être utiles comme marqueurs phylogénétiques. A contrario, une influence de l’environnement sur les processus précoces du développement n’a pas, jusqu’à présent, été détectée.

In: Nematology

Abstract

Myolaimus byersi n. sp., a phoretic associate of the crane fly, Limonia (Rhipidia) schwarzi (Diptera: Limoniidae), was recovered from moist and decaying tissue from the crown shaft of a living spindle palm, Hyophorbe verschaffeltii, in southern Florida and is described herein. Dauers were carried in the abdominal folds of male and female L. schwarzi. Examination of the highly mobile crane fly larvae and pupae confirmed that the dauers were externally associated with the cuticle. Dauers from crane flies were culturable to adults on 1/20 strength TSB agar. The association appears to be relatively host specific. SEM studies, early embryonic development, dauers, molecular data and TEM ultrastructural comparisons of the stoma, sensory structures and sperm are used to discuss the relative placement of Myolaimus within the Nematoda. The stoma resembles diplogastrids in being strongly anisomorphic with an enlarged dorsal sector of the stegostom, yet also resembles rhabditids in having three triangular flaps in the metastegostom and matches cephalobs and panagrolaims in having a pharyngeal collar with two sets of three interradial muscles followed by two sets of six adradial muscles. The ultrastructure of the cheilostom epidermis shows a high degree of conservation with several Rhabditida. The sperm of M. byersi n. sp. is nearly identical to that of Caenorhabditis elegans. In early cell division, M. byersi n. sp. is closest to Parascaris equorum followed by C. elegans. Myolaimus apparently represents a divergent lineage that has followed a non-coalescing trajectory for a long time, allowing it to retain some highly conserved characters while also developing some surprisingly unique features, such as a baggy cuticle and males that lack a gubernaculum or spicules.

In: Nematology