A Comparison of Low-Temperature and Ambient-Temperature SEM for Viewing Nematode Faces


  • L. K. Carta
  • W. P. Wergin
  • E. F. Erbe
  • C. A. Murphy


amphid, cryofixation, distolabrellus veechi, glutaraldehyde, face patterns, low temperature scanning electron microscopy, lip sectors, pratylenchus teres, pratylenchus zeae, rhabditida, scanning electron microscopy, taxonomy, tylenchida


Faces of lesion nematodes Pratylenchus teres (populations RTB and JK) and P. zeae or the bacterivore Distolabrellus veechi were observed on frozen specimens with low-temperature scanning electron microscopy and as chemically fixed, critical-point dried specimens with conventional scanning electron microscopy. Amphidial secretions were preserved in chemically fixed but not cryofixed lesion nematodes. Overhanging liplets of chemically fixed D. veechi may be artifactual because they appeared as variably filled, mostly empty membranes when cryofixed. The diagnostically useful lips of the frozen lesion nematodes exhibited six sectors of variable prominence that were absent in chemically fixed specimens. This variability may be due to different degrees of muscle contraction captured during cryofixation, which occurs in milliseconds. This is the first evidence that rarely observed lip sectors in Pratylenchus may be something other than an artifact of shrinkage.