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Motion and the Skeleton in Small Nematodes

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image of Nematologica
For more content, see Nematology.

From studies of plant parasitic nematodes, especially Aphelenchoides blastophthorus, by cinematography a motor scheme relevant to much of the behaviour of small nematodes is proposed. An anisometric cuticle, able to extend markedly in a longitudinal direction but only slightly around its circumference, surrounds visco-elastic organs which in turn enclose liquid gut contents. Longitudinal somatic muscles shorten locally and their consequent thickening creates radial forces which displace other organs, notably the gut and its contents. Waves of contraction and relaxation in dorsal and ventral muscles may be in or out of phase. When waves are in phase gut contents are moved, as in defaecation, or locomotion results as in criconematids. When the waves are out of phase undulatory propulsion is produced. Expansion of radial muscle and deformation of viscoelastic body organs within an anisometric cuticle, with or without translocation of liquid elements, may also control stylet action, move sperms and eggs and be concerned in pharyngeal pumping in some rhabditids and tylenchids.

Affiliations: 1: Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts., England

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/content/journals/10.1163/187529273x00088
1973-01-01
2016-12-10

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