Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2009
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A Interpretive Summary: N/A
Technical Abstract: Nematodes are the most abundant animal on earth, and they parasitize virtually all plants and animals. Caenorhabditis elegans is a free-living nematode that lives in soil and composting material. We have shown that C. elegans releases at least 40 small molecules into its environment including many amino acids, sugars, and organic acids. C. elegans also releases several ascaroside sugars, which act synergistically at low concentrations to attract males while at higher concentrations they induce dauer formation, a highly persistent state in which the worms need no food. We have developed an extremely sensitive 1-mm cryogenically cooled high temperature superconducting (HTS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) probe. This probe allows measurements on as little as five microlitre of sample, allowing for natural product and metabolomic studies on very small quantities of material. We have also developed an efficient technique for mixture analysis that utilizes covariance Total Correlation Spectroscopy (TOCSY) datasets and methods to search databases for matches to known compounds. Using this approach, we were able to automatically identify about one-fourth of the common metabolites released by C. elegans. In this presentation, we will expand the analysis of secreted nematode chemicals to two additional species, Pristionchus pacificus and Ascaris suum. P. pacificus spends much of its life on the surface of a beetle but does not parasitize the beetle. Rather, it lays eggs in the beetle carcass once it dies. A. suum is an intestinal parasite of pigs and is closely related to A. lumbricoides which parasitizes nearly one-fourth of the world’s population. Using high sensitivity NMR and mixture analysis, we will be able to compare the small molecule metabolites of these three species of nematodes in order to better understand differences in their ecology and life cycles.