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Characteristics of protectant synthesis of infective juveniles of Steinernema carpocapsae and importance of glycerol as a protectant for survival of the nematodes during osmotic dehydration.

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The State Key Lab for Biocontrol, Zhongshan University, 510275, Guangzhou, PR China.


Two hypotheses on the synthesis of the protectants glycerol and trehalose of the infective juveniles (IJs) of Steinernema carpocapsae during osmotic dehydration were tested and utilised to evaluate the function and importance of glycerol on survival of the nematodes during osmotic dehydration. This was achieved by comparing the changes in survival, morphology, behaviour and levels of glycerol, trehalose and permeated compounds of the IJs dehydrated in seven hypertonic solutions at two temperature regimes: (1) 5 degrees C for 15 days; and (2) 23 degrees C for 1 day followed by 5 degrees C for another 14 days. The results substantiate both hypotheses tested: (1) the permeability of the IJs to various compounds, such as sucrose or ethylene glycol, when they are dehydrated in hypertonic solutions of these compounds; and (2) suppression of the synthesis of protectant glycerol but not trehalose when IJs are dehydrated at low temperature. The results also showed that: (1) although trehalose was the preferred dehydration protectant, glycerol played an important role in rapidly balancing the osmotic pressure when IJs were exposed in hypertonic solutions; (2) the presence of glycerol was essential for the IJs to survive and function properly even under moderate osmotic dehydration, especially when IJs were dehydrated in salt solutions; and (3) some exogenous compounds permeated into IJs during osmotic dehydration such as ethylene glycol, may function in the same way as glycerol and significantly improve the survival and function of the IJs. The results indicate that each of the protectants glycerol and trehalose has a specific function and neither is replaceable by the other.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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