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Biochemical changes of the cereal cyst nematode, Heterodera avenae, at low temperatures

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Cereal cyst nematode (Heterodera avenae) diapause is induced by high temperatures and is broken by low temperatures. In this study, metabolic responses were monitored in diapause and non-diapause H. avenae during exposure to 4°C for 10 weeks. The results showed that there was no difference in total carbohydrate content. The content of glycogen and glycerol at 0 week was relatively high but decreased with increased storage time at 4°C. The content of trehalose of the nematode at 10 weeks was significant lower than that at 5 weeks at 4°C. Protein content increased significantly after incubation for 5 and 10 weeks. Esterase and trehalase activity increased with the increasing period at 4°C and showed a significant difference between treatments for esterase activity but there was no significant difference between 5 and 10 weeks for trehalase activity. The SDS-PAGE pattern indicated that a 15.5 kDa protein was absent at 10 weeks and present at 0 and 5 weeks. Esterase isoenzyme patterns of H. avenae showed that at 10 weeks there were four bands: EST 0.21, EST 0.24, EST 0.30 and EST 0.34 (R f values). EST 0.24 was the common band in the three treatments. Biochemical tests were conducted to correlate with hatching experiments using the same treatments. 2-DE patterns of H. avenae showed that diapause and non-diapause nematodes had 409 and 412 protein spots, respectively, and 19 protein spots were unique: 11 distinct proteins in non-diapause and eight distinct proteins in diapause. This information could be helpful in understanding the diapause mechanism of the cereal cyst nematode.

Affiliations: 1: Guangxi Key Laboratory of Agric-Environment and Agric-products Safety, Agricultural College of Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, P.R. China

*Corresponding author, e-mail:

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