Characterization of Sialyl and Galactosyl Residues on the Body Wall of Different Plant Parasitic Nematodes


  • Y. Spiegel
  • E. Cohn
  • Sarah Spiegel


The plant parasitic nematodes Helicotylenchus multicinctus, Meloidogyne javanica, Tylenchulus semipenetrans, anti Xiphinema index, differing in their host specificity and parasitic habits, were analyzed as to their cuticle surface sialyl, galaclosyl, and/or N-acetylgalactosaminyl residues. The procedure involved the selective oxidation of sialic acid and galactose/N-acetylgal-actosamine residues using periodate and galactose oxidase, respectively, to form reactive aldehyde groups. These functional groups were coupled directly with a new hydrazide-containing compound, the fluorescent reagent lissamine rhodamine-[beta]-alanine hydrazide, or they were utilized to introduce DPN-groups to the nematode cuticle. The distribution of the DNP-tagged glycoconjugates was visualized by treating the nematodes with rabbit anti-DNP antibody and staining with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled goat antirabbit IgG. Sialo residues were observed along the entire outer body wall of the first three aforementioned nematodes, but there were some differences in reaction among the various life stages within the species. In X. index, sialo residues were sited in the tail and head areas, mainly on the lips, oral opening, amphid apertures and stylet. Galactose oxidase treatments revealed galactose on N-acytylgalactosamine residues on T. sentipenetrans and X. index, but there were no indications that their presence was dependent on the developmental stage. Trypsin, pronase, and neuraminidase pretreatment completely abolished the fluorescence in T. semipenetrans but did not alter the sialo residue binding reaction in H. multicinctus or M. javanica, indicating possible differences in the outer body wall saccharide structure and composition between these nematodes. The existence and nature of sugar residues on the cuticle surface of nematodes could contribute to an understanding of the specific recognition by phytophagous nematodes of their host, and perhaps also of the virus transmission mechanism in those nematodes which serve as vectors. Key words: Helicotylenehus multicinctus, Meloidogyne javanica, Tylenchulus semipenetrans, Xiphinema index, fluorescent reagent, lissamine rhodamine-[beta]-alanine hydrazide, double antibody technique, glactose oxidase, enzymes, neuraminidase, chymotrypsin, trypsin, host-parasite recognition.