Steinernema nematodes and their Xenorhabdus symbionts are a malleable model system to study mutualistic relations. One of the advantages they possess is their ability to be disassociated under in vitro rearing conditions. Various in vitro methods have been developed to produce symbiont colonized and aposymbiotic (symbiont-free) nematodes. Until now, there has been no investigation on how in vitro rearing conditions may have an impact on the storage ability and the protein content of the infective juvenile at different storage temperatures. Thus, in this study, we investigated how infective juvenile longevity and protein content are impacted when the nematodes were reared with two in vitro methods (lipid and liver kidney agar) considering colonized and uncolonized nematodes, and under two different temperatures: 15 °C and 20 °C (mild stress). Infective juveniles reared in vitro (with or without their symbionts) had lower 8-week survival rates. No in vitro reared, colonized IJs survived to the desired 16-week time point. Survival of infective juveniles stored under mild stress temperature (20 °C) was lower than that observed at 15 °C. However, when comparing the interaction between rearing condition and storage temperature, there were not significant differences. With respect to protein content, in vivo, colonized infective juveniles maintained a static protein content over time, suggesting symbiont colonization may influence protein metabolism and/or turnover in infective juveniles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics