Pratylenchus crenatus

Even “omnivorous nematodes” don’t feed on all potential food sources present in the soil. The shape of the mouth parts is indicative for the type of food a given nematode is feeding on.   

Bacterivory is supposed to be the ancestral feeding type, and fungal-feeding and plant-parasitic nematode probably arose from this type. Plant parasites are equipped with hollow, needle-like structures that are used to puncture plant cell walls. In by far most cases, these needle-like structures enable nematodes to take up the nutritious cell content from its host plant. A small minority of the plant-feeding nematodes may have serious economic impact in agriculture. Lesion nematodes, members of the genus Pratyenchus, belong to this group and parasitize on numerous crops.

Different nematode species are usually specialised to feeding on different groups of types of organisms and this can be seen by the different types of mouth parts which have evolved.

Pratylenchus crenatus/Picture: Hanny van Megen
Pratylenchus crenatus/Picture: Hanny van Megen

More pictures of Pratylenchus crenatus:

Pratylenchus crenatus
Pratylenchus crenatus

Pratylenchus crenatus: lip rings, stylet, posterior part of oesophagus, excretion pore
Pratylenchus crenatus: lip rings, stylet, posterior part of oesophagus, excretion pore

Pratylenchus crenatus: stylet, median bulb
Pratylenchus crenatus: stylet, median bulb

Pratylenchus crenatus: median-terminal bulb ventral overlap
Pratylenchus crenatus: median-terminal bulb ventral overlap

Pratylenchus crenatus: vulva, spermatheca empty
Pratylenchus crenatus: vulva, spermatheca empty

Pratylenchus crenatus: spermatheca empty
Pratylenchus crenatus: spermatheca empty

Pratylenchus crenatus: lateral field, 6 lateral lines
Pratylenchus crenatus: lateral field, 6 lateral lines

Pratylenchus crenatus: anal opening, tail with annules
Pratylenchus crenatus: anal opening, tail with annules

(Click on the pictures for an enlargement, © Laboratory of Nematology/Pictures: Hanny van Megen)