In Vivo Growth of Romanomermis culicivorax: Biochemical Changes During Parasitism


  • Robin M. Giblin
  • Edward G. Platzer


Biochemical analyses of total protein, lipid, carbohydrate, DNA, amino acid, and length, width, and dry weight measurements are reported for different stages of Romanomermis culicivorax cultured in the mosquito, Culex pipiens. The Bradford technique for assaying total protein was the most sensitive and reliable biochemical technique tested for assaying in vivo growth of R. culicivorax. Increases in total protein, lipid, carbohydrate, and dry weight during growth from preparasite to postparasite were greater than 6,900-fold for females and 2,300-fold for males. DNA increased 650-fold and 233-fold during development to female and male postparasites, respectively. The proportions of amino acids for preparasites were significantly different (P = 0.01) from female and male postparasites for all amino acids tested, except methionine and tyrosine. Female and male postparasites were similar in protein, lipid, carbohydrate, DNA, and most amino acid proportions, but were significantly different in relative concentrations of serine, glycine, and alanine (P = 0.01). Preliminary results suggest that the use of amino acid ratios from female postparasites improves the in vitro culture performance of R. culicivorax. Key words: amino acids, carbohydrates, Culex pipiens, culture, DNA, lipid, mermithid nematode, physiology, protein, Romanomermis culicivorax.