Nematology | VOL. 1

Endotokia matricida in hermaphrodites of Heterorhabditis spp. and the effect of the food supply

Publication Date Jan 1, 1999


Intra-uterine birth causing maternal death ( endotokia matricida ) is relatively common in rhabditid nematodes and typical for entomopathogenic nematodes of the genus Heterorhabditis . A detailed description of this phenomenon is given, including a summary of embryo development, egg-laying, juvenile hatching and development. It is demonstrated that low food supply significantly promotes the beginning of endotokia matricida but has no influence on the time scale of the process. The biological function of endotokia matricida and the intra-uterine induction of the dauer formation is discussed. Endotokia matricida in Heterorhabditis spp. is a well synchronised process of the destruction of the maternal tissues correlated with the juvenile development including the uptake of the symbiotic bacteria by the late pre-dauer stage. It secures the development of dauer juveniles at a moment when the external food supply is reducing and provides offspring which are well equipped with energy reserves and symbiotic bacteria for long term survival and subsequent infection of insects in the soil. Endotokia matricida bei Hermaphroditen von Heterorhabditis spp. und der Einfluss der Nahrungsversorgung . - Der Schlupf juveniler Nematoden im mutterlichen Uterus mit anschliessender Totung des Muttertieres ( endotokia matricida ) ist relativ weit verbreitet bei rhabditiden Nematoden und typisch fur entomopathogene Nematoden der Gattung Heterorhabditis . Die Endotokia matricida wird beschrieben sowie die Embryonalentwicklung, das Eilegeverhalten, der...

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