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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF SOILBORNE DISEASES OF HORTICULTURAL CROPS Title: Detecting Microbial Nucleic Acids within Nematode Bodies: A Photo Essay

item O'Leary, Cf -
item Treonis, A -
item Marks, C -
item Zasada, Inga

Submitted to: Soil Ecology Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2009
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: We developed a taxa-specific, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique to localize microbial nucleic acids within nematode bodies. This technique involves hybridization of a nucleic acid probe to target microbial sequences. Hybridization is detected microscopically, as the probes have fluorescent labels attached to them. Here, we present an overview of this molecular microscopy technique and a photo essay portraying several applications. Using bacteria-specific rRNA FISH probes, this method has been used to successfully localize the passage of microbial food sources through the esophageal region of Caenorhabditis elegans. The same technique was applied to bacterial-feeding nematodes (Cephalobidae spp.) isolated from soils from Death Valley, CA. We were also able to detect the presence of archaeal rRNA within these nematodes, using archaea-specific FISH probes. To our knowledge, this is the first time that consumption of archaea by nematodes has been documented. We have also been able to visualize intestinal symbionts using this technique. Phylogenetic staining is a promising tool for the study of nematode food sources and symbionts.

Last Modified: 11/30/2015
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