Publication details

Nematode infections are affected by insect clotting system

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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. Drosophila larvae are more resistant to nematode infection than Galleria mellonella, but both can be used as natural infection model. The tripartite model (Drosophila, nematodes, bacteria) was recently established and used to show an immune function for transglutaminase, a conserved clotting factor. In this study we used different Drosophila mutants or RNAi lines with defects in clotting or other branches of the immune system. We demonstrated an immune function during nematode infection for known clotting substrates GP150 and Fondue, while Toll an Imd immune pathways are not activated during nematode infection. Phenoloxidase cascade also cooperates with clotting, but is not efficient again nematodes itself. In conclusion, we show that the Heterorhabditis/Photorhabdus infection model is suitable to identify novel regulators of innate immunity and we bring evidence of coagulation immune function in insects against nematode infection. Our research is supported by grants from Grant Agency of Czech Republic (GA206/09/P470).
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