Culturing the Antarctic Nematode Plectus murrayi

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TitleCulturing the Antarctic Nematode Plectus murrayi
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsAdhikari, BN, Tomasel, CM, Li, G, Wall, DH, Adams, B
JournalCold Spring Harbor Protocols
Paginationpdb.prot5522 - pdb.prot5522
Date Published11/2010

The genus Plectus is one of the most widely distributed and common nematode taxa of freshwater and terrestrial habitats in the world, and is of particular interest because of its phylogenetic position relative to the origin of the Secernentean radiation. Plectus murrayi, a bacteria-feeding nematode, inhabits both semi-aquatic and terrestrial biotopes in the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys (MCM), where its distribution is limited by organic carbon and soil moisture. Plectus nematodes from the MCM can survive extreme desiccation, freezing conditions, and other types of stress. Ongoing investigations of the physiological and molecular aspects of the stress biology of P. murrayi, along with the availability of genomic resources, will likely establish this nematode as an excellent invertebrate model system for studies of extreme environmental survival, and may provide a valuable source of genomic resources for comparative studies in other organisms. Moreover, because P. murrayi and Caenorhabditis elegans share a most recent common ancestor with the rest of the Secernentea, and given the ability of P. murrayi to be cultured at lower temperatures compared to C. elegans, P. murrayi could also be an emerging model system for the study of the evolution of environment-sensitive (stress response) alleles in nematodes.