Energy Metabolism and Survival of the Infective Juveniles of Steinernema carpocapsae under Oxygen-Deficient Conditions


  • L. Qiu
  • R. A. Bedding


anaerobic metabolism, energy reserve, entomopathogenic nematodes, glycerol, glycogen, lipids, nematode, oxygen deficiency, physiology, proteins, steinernema carpocapsae, survival, trehalose


Energy metabolism and its relation to survival of the infective juveniles (IJ) of S. carpocapsae under anaerobic and oxygen-deficient conditions were studied by monitoring changes in survival rate, levels of key energy reserve materials, oxygen consumption, and respiratory quotient (RQ). The effects of various factors on the survival of IJ under anaerobic conditions were also investigated. Under anaerobic conditions, the IJ were inactivated but could survive for several days in an immobile state, using the carbohydrate reserves glycogen and trehalose for energy supply. The survival time of IJ was mainly dependent on the availability of energy supply, which, in turn, was influenced by factors such as temperature and metabolic by-products. Surviving, anaerobically incubated IJ fully recovered upon return to aerobic conditions. Recovering IJ were characterized by regaining mobility and restoration of carbohydrate reserves consumed during the anaerobic period. Carbohydrate reserves were restored by conversion from lipid reserves and possibly from anaerobic metabolic by-products. The infectivity of IJ recovered from the anaerobic state was not affected. At 1% oxygen level, IJ were also immobile and mainly depended on carbohydrate reserves for energy supply and the RQ was greater than 1. However, some oxygen was consumed; the survival time of these IJ was shorter than those kept in natural air but longer than those under anaerobic conditions. When IJ were incubated at oxygen levels of 3% to 21%, the RQs were maintained at 0.7 to 0.8. Oxygen consumption rates and the reduction in both mean dry weight and lipid levels were proportional to oxygen levels while the survival time of IJ was inversely proportional to oxygen levels.