Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekly Dev Bio post. LAB: Nematodes

Nematode Under 50x
Last week in lab we ended up cutting up earthworms and laying the pieces on a nutrient enriched petri dish in hopes of nematodes hatching. After 2 days the nematodes pathways were visible to the naked eye as they migrated away from the decaying worm. After 3 days there was a huge increase in pathways and very small visible worms. The 4th day there was a good mixture of large, medium, and small nematodes easily seen.

Further research: I read around many different articles and got some extra info on nematodes. They are a form of round worm that have digestive, excretory, reproductive , and nervous systems. They lack respiratory and circulatory systems. There digestive system is a tube that runs from the mouth to the anus (Fig 1.)
Fig. 1

Most nematodes are parasites to plants, animals, and insects. The parasitic nematodes find there hosts through carbon dioxide which is released from breathing or waste products. They track the carbon dioxide and enter the host either through the respiratory system or anus. When they are within there host they release a bacteria which will kill insect hosts over a few days. The bacteria will multiply and the worm will reproduce creating tons of nematodes that feed on the bacteria inside the host. They are used typically for biological control in particular areas that need a species reduced or killed off.

A article i read about the germ granule development in the nematode and how they maintain/preserve the same the germ granules over many lineages.
Bioinformatic analysis of P granule-related proteins: insights into germ granule evolution in nematodes: The article is addressing the preservation of germ granules over lineages and how they may play a part in determination, identification, and differentiation of germ cells.The 2 main modes of segregation to preserve the germline of species are inductive mode and preformed mode. Majority of animals have the inductive mode, but nematodes have the preformation mode of development.

1.) Inductive mode (epigenetic), where the germ cells are produced later in the developmental stages through signaling from the surrounding tissues.
2.) Preformation mode, where the germ line has been specified by maternally inherited determinants before or after fertilization.

The preservation of the germ granules and there mechanisms are only understood in the Caenorhabditis elegans. P. Granules are associated with P. Cell lineage in early embryogenesis. The P. Cell lineage is an asymmetrical lineage that gives rise to the germ cell precursors Z2 and Z3. P. Granules cellular function is still unknown, but it is believed to store RNA and proteins, which regulates their expression. Numerous studies and evidence shows us that P. Granule helps in mRNA trafficking, translation, stability, and RNA interference. Recent studies show that P. Granules share a couple of proteins with ribonucleoprotien complexes and stress granules, which are part of degradation of mRNA and in transient storage or protection from stresses. Their study was to increase the database and analysis of other nematodes and the effects of the P. Granules in the preformation mode of development.

They concluded that the distribution of the P. Granules was wide enough to reveal varying levels of conservation among P granule proteins, which in turn may suggest diversity in granule assembly mechanisms in the phylum. Problems that arose from the study suggest germ granule mechanism of assembly and stability may differ greatly across nematodes. The germ granule proteins and functions associated with them might be relatively easy to be incorporated during evolution. Finally, the absence and modification of known germ granule components may reflect deeper differences in underlying molecular mechanisms of germline specification and development in nematodes. Below is a video of my own recording of a single nematode cell developing through stages of development. Some pictures will be blurry or out of focus, sorry for that.


  1. And finally, the *only* man in Minnesota who says there is no God has suddenly become an arbiter on mental health...

  2. Well, aren't you lucky. Here you are innocently blogging about your lab project, and then the Internet's most boring troll comes to spam your entry with something entirely besides the point just because your teacher has permanently banned him.

    Nice article, btw.

  3. That was a great article, my favorite for this week.

  4. You should be honoured, you got trolled by Mabus.

    I guess reading through this, I'm still not totally clear what germ granules are. I like the research, and I like the details, but I feel like I'm missing something, like there's a gap between "nematodes have a full digestive tract" and "these P. granules are associated cells Z2 and Z3."

    Maybe it's trying to condense so much reading into a blog post, I dunno.

  5. Sorry red rabbit for the confusion. The top half was me simply getting use to adding pictures to my blog with some basic info i found about nematodes. I should have posted the article about germ granules on a new blog post.

  6. Good post. As a non-biologist some of the technical terms are a little unclear to me, but, hey, it's your blog.

    My personal opinion is that communicating science well is critically important in the 21st Century, and that includes more than just the technical stuff.

    So I would be interested to read about your impressions of life at Morris and about the class itself - to round out the picture.

  7. Nice post. I'm most interested in nematodes that affect plants--in a landscape. Do you know what nematodes do to plants and how they find those hosts?

    One criticism. Do learn the difference between there and their. It's critical to all writing. You might want to make sure you've got they're down as well.

    Keep up the good work.