Wheat Germ Agglutinin Bound to the Outer Cuticle of the Seed Gall Nematodes Anguina agrostis and A. tritici


  • Yitzhak Spiegel
  • Michael A. McClure
  • Itzhak Kahane
  • Walter M. Robertson
  • Raffi Salomon


The presence of wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) on the cuticular surface of the seed gall nematodes Anguina agrostis and Anguina tritici was demonstrated, and the nature of its binding was examined. Crude extracts from the cuticles of A. tritici agglutinated human red blood cells, and only N-acetylglucosamine (GlucNAc) inhibited the agglutination. Distribution of the lectin was visualized by treating live infective juveniles (J2) with rabbit anti-WGA antibody and staining with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugated goat anti-rabbit IgG. The lectin bound to the outer cuticular surface of the whole body wall. Pretreatment with GlucNAc oligomers did not reduce the fluorescence created by the anti-WGA-WGA binding, indicating at least a partial nonspeciflc adhesion of the WGA to the nematode surface. Proteolytic enzyme pretreatments diminished the fluorescence, whereas lipase and periodate pretreatments increased the fluorescence. Adult females and males were labeled only on the head and tail, whereas eggs were not labeled at all. It was concluded that the WGA on the J2 cuticle originates from the host. Key words: Anguina agrostis, Anguina tritici, cuticle, lectin, nematode, wheat germ agglutinin.