Publication details

Nematode infection model for testing of innate immunity in Drosophila

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Year of publication 2011
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN’s) of the genera Heterorhabditis are obligate and lethal insect parasites. In recent years they have been used increasingly as biological control agents. Infective juveniles occur free living in the soil and are capable of seeking out hosts and penetrate them through the cuticle or natural orifices. EPN’s are symbiotically associated with bacteria of the genera Photorhabdus. The bacterial symbionts are essential to kill the host (within 24-48 hours) and digest host tissues. The tripartite model (Drosophila, nematodes, bacteria) was recently established and used for determination of immune factors against nematode infection. Drosophila larvae are more resistant to nematode infection than Galleria mellonella (insect used for laboratory nematode rearing), but both can be used as natural infection model. In this study we used Drosophila mutant - BcImd (mutation in phenoloxidase and immunodeficiency pathway) which shows significantly higher mortality in nematode assay comparing to control flies. The nematode infection is very fast, just 2 hours contact of nematodes and Drosophila caused maximum mortality. In conclusion, we show that the Heterorhabditis/Photorhabdus infection model is suitable for testing innate immunity factors under natural conditions. Our research is supported by grants from Grant Agency of Czech Republic (GA206/09/P470).
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