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Olfaction shapes host–parasite interactions in parasitic nematodes

Dillman, Adler R. and Guillermin, Manon L. and Lee, Joon Ha and Kim, Brian and Sternberg, Paul W. and Hallem, Elissa A. (2012) Olfaction shapes host–parasite interactions in parasitic nematodes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109 (35). E2324-E2333. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC3435218.

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Many parasitic nematodes actively seek out hosts in which to complete their lifecycles. Olfaction is thought to play an important role in the host-seeking process, with parasites following a chemical trail toward host-associated odors. However, little is known about the olfactory cues that attract parasitic nematodes to hosts or the behavioral responses these cues elicit. Moreover, what little is known focuses on easily obtainable laboratory hosts rather than on natural or other ecologically relevant hosts. Here we investigate the olfactory responses of six diverse species of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) to seven ecologically relevant potential invertebrate hosts, including one known natural host and other potential hosts collected from the environment. We show that EPNs respond differentially to the odor blends emitted by live potential hosts as well as to individual host-derived odorants. In addition, we show that EPNs use the universal host cue CO_2 as well as host-specific odorants for host location, but the relative importance of CO_2 versus host-specific odorants varies for different parasite–host combinations and for different host-seeking behaviors. We also identified host-derived odorants by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and found that many of these odorants stimulate host-seeking behaviors in a species-specific manner. Taken together, our results demonstrate that parasitic nematodes have evolved specialized olfactory systems that likely contribute to appropriate host selection.

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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Dillman, Adler R.0000-0001-7171-4332
Sternberg, Paul W.0000-0002-7699-0173
Additional Information:© 2012 National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by Paul W. Sternberg, July 9, 2012 (sent for review May 8, 2012). We thank Todd Ciche, Heidi Goodrich-Blair, S. Patricia Stock, Byron Adams, and the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center for nematode and bacterial stocks; Nathan Dalleska and the California Institute of Technology Environmental Analysis Center for help with TD-GC-MS, SPMEGC-MS, and subsequent analysis; Richard Menking for help in collecting insects around the California Institute of Technology campus; John Rodriguez and the Rio Hondo golf course grounds crew for access to the grounds and help in setting up mole cricket traps; Chris Cronin for help with the design and maintenance of mole cricket sound traps and mole cricket collection; Joseph Tang, John DeModena, Brian Anderson, Michael Castillo, Esther Thompson, and Beth Dillman for help with mole cricket collection; Joseph Vanderwaart and the University of California, Los Angeles Statistical Consulting Center for help with statistical analysis; and James Baldwin and Jagan Srinivasan for critical reading of the manuscript. We also thank the reviewers of this manuscript for their insightful comments. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health US Public Health Service Training Grant T32GM07616 (to A.R.D.), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (of which P.W.S. is an investigator), and a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (to B.K.). E.A.H. is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIH Predoctoral FellowshipT32GM07616
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Rita Allen FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:entomopathogens; chemosensation; Heterorhabditis; Steinernema
Issue or Number:35
PubMed Central ID:PMC3435218
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120910-104141784
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:33957
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:10 Sep 2012 18:05
Last Modified:29 Oct 2019 21:33

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