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Development of Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita (and members of the Phasmarhabditis genus) as new genetic model nematodes to study the genetic basis of parasitism

Rae, RG and Andrus, P Development of Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita (and members of the Phasmarhabditis genus) as new genetic model nematodes to study the genetic basis of parasitism. Journal of Helminthology. ISSN 0022-149X (Accepted)

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Development of Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita (and members of the Phasmarhabditis genus) as new genetic model nematodes to study the genetic basis of parasitism.pdf - Accepted Version
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Abstract

The genetic mechanisms of how free-living nematodes evolved into parasites are unknown. Current genetic model nematodes (e.g. Caenorhabditis elegans) are not well suited to answer this and mammalian parasites are expensive and logistically difficult to maintain. Here we propose the terrestrial gastropod parasit Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita as a new alternative to study the evolution of parasitism and outline the methodology of how to keep P. hermaphrodita in the lab for genetic experiments. We show that P. hermaphrodita (and several other Phasmarhabditis species) are easy to isolate and identify from slugs and snails from around the U.K. We outline how to make isogenic lines using ‘semi-natural’ conditions to reduce in lab evolution and how to optimise growth using NGM agar and naturally isolated bacteria. We show that P. hermaphrodita is amenable to forward genetics and that unc and sma mutants can be generated using formaldehyde mutagenesis. We also detail the procedures needed to carry out genetic crosses. Furthermore, we show natural variation within our Phasmarhabditis collection with isolates displaying differences in survival when exposed to high temperatures and pH, which facilitates micro and macro evolutionary studies. In summary, we believe that this genetically amenable parasite that shares many attributes with C. elegans as well as being in Clade 5 which contains many animal, plant and arthropod parasites, could be an excellent model to understand the genetic basis of parasitism in the Nematoda.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0608 Zoology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2018 09:33
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2018 09:33
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8177

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