Developmental Nutrition of Nematodes: the Biochemical Role of Sterols, Heme Compounds, and Lysosomal Enzymes


  • R. Bolla


Attempts to develop defined in vitro culture systems for the growth, reproduction and development of free-living nematodes have yielded much basic information about their nutritional requirements and biochemistry. Requirements for sterol and heme have been identified suggesting that some nematodes lack de novo synthesis of these molecules. Possible pathways of metabolism of these nutritional requirements can be derived from in vitro experiments that use a variety of sterol and heine sources as supplements to the culture mediuin. These pathways are reviewed as well as the possible role of sterol and heme in the biology of free-living and parasitic nematodes, Since these molecules must be acquired dietarily, the possible involvement of lysosomal enzymes in digestion is discussed. Also considered is the possibility that lysosomal enzymes change when nematodes are fed on a heine protein source. Key Words: Hemoglobin, cholesterol, cathepsin D, acid protease, free-living, plant and animal parasitic nematodes.