Skip to main content
Log in

Nematodes ultrastructure: complex systems and processes

  • Review Article
  • Published:
Journal of Parasitic Diseases Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Nematode worms are among the most ubiquitous organisms on earth. They include free-living forms as well as parasites of plants, insects, humans and other animals. Recently, there has been an explosion of interest in nematode biology, including the area of nematode ultrastructure. Nematodes are round with a body cavity. They have one way guts with a mouth at one end and an anus at the other. They have a pseudocoelom that is lined on one side with mesoderm and on the other side with endoderm. It appears that the cuticle is a very complex and evolutionarily plastic feature with important functions involving protection, body movement and maintaining shape. They only have longitudinal muscles so; they seem to thrash back and forth. While nematodes have digestive, reproductive, nervous and excretory systems, they do not have discrete circulatory or respiratory systems. Nematodes use chemosensory and mechanosensory neurons embedded in the cuticle to orient and respond to a wide range of environmental stimuli. Adults are made up of roughly 1000 somatic cells and hundreds of those cells are typically associated with the reproductive systems. Nematodes ultrastructure seeks to provide studies which enable their use as models for diverse biological processes including; human diseases, immunity, host-parasitic interactions and the expression of phylogenomics. The latter has, however, not been brought into a single inclusive entity. Consequently, in the current review we tried to provide a comprehensive approach to the current knowledge available for nematodes ultrastructures.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Aboobaker AA, Blaxter ML (2000) Medical significance of Caenorhabditis elegans. Ann Med 32:23–30

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Aguinaldo A, Turbeville J, Linford L, Rivera M, Garey J, Raff R, Lake J (1997) Evidence for a clade of nematodes, arthropods and other moulting animals. Nature 387:489–493

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Altun ZF, Hall DH (2009) Muscle system, somatic muscle. Worm Atlas. doi:10.3908/wormatlas.1.7

  • Altun ZF, Hall DH (2012) Handbook of C. elegans Anatomy. Worm Atlas.http://www.wormatlas.org/hermaphrodite/hermaphroditehomepage.htm

  • Avery L, Thomas JH (1997) C. elegans, Feeding and defecation In: Riddle DL, Blumenthal T, Meyer BJ (eds.). 2nd ed. Cold Spring Harbor (NY) Laboratory Press, New York

  • Baran M (2011) Nematodes reproductive system. Parasitology 7:163

    Google Scholar 

  • Bird AF, Bird J (1991) The structure of nematodes, vol 2. Academic press, San Diego

    Google Scholar 

  • Blaxter ML, Robertson WM (1998) The cuticle. In: Perry RN, Wright DJ (eds) The Physiology and biochemistry of free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes. CAB International, New York, pp 25–48

    Google Scholar 

  • Bogitsh B, Carter C, Oeltmann T (2005) General characteristics of nematodes. In : Human parasitology 15: 308

  • Bolla RI, Weinstein PP, Cain GD (1972) Fine structure of the coelomocyte of adult Ascaris sum. J Parasitol 58:1025–1036

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Buchsbaum R, Buchsbaum M, Pearse J, Pearse V (1987) Animals without backbones. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Burr A, Gans C (1987) Mechanical significance of obliquely striated architecture in nematode muscle. Biol Bull 194(1):1–6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Campbell NC, Reece JR (2002) Sharon-taxonomy, 2010-p2.In: Nematoda Biology 6th (edn.) San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings. http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/illglossary/Article%20Images/amphid

  • Carletti B, Paoli F, Isidoro N, Roversi PF (2013) Ultrastructure of the anterior alimentary tract of Bursaphelenchus mucronatus (Nematoda Aphelenchoididae). REDIA, XCVI; 69–77

  • Chappell L (1986) Functional biology of nematodes. J Trop Ecol 2:92

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chen Z, Chen S, Dickson D (2004) Nematology: advances and Perspectives. Basic Nerve Elem 1:221

    Google Scholar 

  • Correale J, Farez M (2011) The impact of parasite infections on the course of multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol 233:6–11

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Couillault C, Ewbank J (2002) Diverse bacteria are pathogens of Caenorhabditis elegans. Infect Immun 70:4705–4707

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Decraemer W, Karanastasi E, Brown D, Backeljau T (2003) Review of the ultrastructure of the nematode body cuticle and its phylogenetic interpretation. Biol Rev 78:465–510

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Du Four R, Guerena M, Earles R (2003) Alternative nematode control. ATTRA—National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service http://www.oisat.org/downloads/nematode

  • Fagerholm H, Bruňanská M, Roepstorff A, Eriksen L (2004) Phasmid ultrastructure of an ascaridoid nematodehysterothylacium auctum. J Parasitol 90(3):499–506

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fetterer RH, Rhoads ML (1993) Biochemistry of the nematode cuticle: relevance to parasitic nematodes of livestock. Vet Parasitol 46(1–4):103–111

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fischer K, Beatty W, Weil G, Fischer P (2014) High pressure freezing/freeze substitution Fixation improves the ultrastructural assessment of wolbachia endosymbiont—filarial nematode host interaction. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086383

    Google Scholar 

  • Fox R (2006) Invertebrate anatomy online. Lander University, Ascaris suum Pig Roundworm

    Google Scholar 

  • Fürst von Lieven A, Bärmann VW (2005) How can nematodes mate without spicules? Function of the male gonoduct glands in the roundworm Myolaimus. Zoology 108(3):211–216

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gardner S (2001) Worms, Nematoda. In: Levin SA (ed) Encyclopedia of biodiversity. Academic Press, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

    Google Scholar 

  • Gaugler R, Bilgrami A (2004) Nematode behaviour, locomotion behavior, Role of hydrostatic skeleton, p 27

  • Gibbons L (1986) SEM guide to the morphology of nematode parasites of vertebrates. CAB International, Oxu

    Google Scholar 

  • González C, Hamann M (2010) First report of nematode parasites of Physalaemus santafecinus (Anura: Leiuperidae) from Corrientes, Argentina. Rev Mex Biodiv 81:3

    Google Scholar 

  • González C, Hamann M, Salgad C (2012) Study of helminth parasites of amphibians by scanning electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, Dr. Viacheslav Kazmiruk (ed.), ISBN: 51

  • Goodrich-Blair H, Clarke D (2007) Mutualism and pathogenesis in Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus: two roads to the same destination. Mol Microbiol 64:260–268

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Grewal P, Ehlers S, Shapiro-Ilan D (2005) Nematodes as Biocontrol agents. CABI Publishing, Wallingford

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Gutierrez Y (2000) Nematodes, body cavity. In: Diagnostic pathology of parasitic infections with clinical correlations, 2nd (edn), p 278

  • Harris JE, Crofton HD (1957) Structure and function in the nematodes: internal pressure and cuticular structure in Ascaris. J Exp Biol 34:116–130

    Google Scholar 

  • Herndon LA, Schmeissner PJ, Dudaronek JM, Brown PA, Listner KM, Sakano Y, Paupard MC, Hall DH, Driscoll M (2002) Stochastic and genetic factors influence tissue-specific decline in ageing C. elegans. Nature 419:808–814

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Herndon LA, Altun ZF, Hall DH (2010) Glossary B. WormAtlas. doi:10.3908/wormatlas.6.2

  • Kuijk LM, van Die I (2010) Worms to the rescue: can worm glycans protect from autoimmune diseases? IUBMB Life 62:303–312

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lee DL (1973) Evidence for a sensory function for the copulatory spicules of nematodes. J Zool 169:281–285

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee DL (2003) The biology of nematodes, secretory-excretory system. Endokrinologie 76:112–114

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewbart G (2011) Nematodes, Nervouse system In: Invertebrate Medicine, 2nd (edn). John Wiley & Sons

  • Markaki M, Tavernarakis N (2010) Modeling human diseases in Caenorhabditis elegans. Biotechnol J 5:1261–1276

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Mehlhorn H (2008) Encyclopedia of parasitology, vol 3. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Great Britain

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Mitreva M, Smant G, Helder J (2009) Role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of plant parasitism among nematodes. Methods Mol Biol 532:517–535

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Neher DA (2010) Ecology of plant and free-living nematodes in natural and agricultural soil. Annu Rev Phytopathol 48:371–394

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Neher DA, Powers T (2005) Nematodes. www.uvm.edu/dneher/Publications/encyclopedia

  • Nelson K, Albert S (1983) Riddle D (1983) Fine structure of the Caenorhabditis elegans secretory-excretory systemF. J Ultrastruc Res 82:156–171

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nguyen CQ, Hall DH, Yang Y, Fitch DHA (1999) Morphogenesis of the Caenorhabditis elegans male tail tip. Dev Biol 207:86–106

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Oliveira-Menezes A, Noroes J, Dreyer G, Lanfredi R (2010) Ultrastructural analysis of wuchereria bancrofti (Nematoda: Filarioidea) body wall. Micron 41:526–531

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ragsdale E, Baldwin J (2010) Resolving phylogenetic incongruence to articulate homology and phenotypic evolution: a case study from Nematoda. Proc R Soc 9277:1299–1307

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rammah A, Hirschmann H (1987) Morphological comparison and taxonomic utility of copulatory structures of selected nematode species. J Nematol 19(3):314–323

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Roberts LS, Janovy J (1996) Foundation of parasitology. WMC Brown, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Rokas A, Williams BL, King N, Carroll SB (2003) Genome-scale approaches to resolving incongruence in molecular phylogenies. Nature 425:798–804

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Scheffers BR, Joppa LN, Pimm SL, Laurance WF (2012) What we know and don’t know about Earth’s missing biodiversity. Trends Ecol Evol 27:501–510

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Storer T, Usinger R, Stebbins R, Nybakken J (1979) General zoology, 6th edn. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Summers RW, Elliott D, Urban J Jr, Thompson R, Weinstock J (2005) Trichuris suis therapy for active ulcerative colitis: a randomized controlled trial. Gastroenterology 128:825–832

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Telford MJ, Bourlat SJ, Economou A, Papillon D, Rota-Stabelli O (2008) The evolution of the Ecdysozoa. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 363:1529–1537

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • The Darwin Nematode Project (2006) Nematode structure: General introduction to marine nematodes. Amphids. http://www.pml-nematode.org.uk

  • Townson S, Hutton D, Siemienska J, Hollick L, Scanlon T, Tagboto SK, Taylor MJ (2000) Antibiotics and Wolbachia in filarial nematodes: antifilarial activity of rifampicin, oxytetracycline and chloramphenicol against Onchocerca gutturosa, Onchocerca lienalis and Brugia pahangi. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 94(8):801–816

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Waggoner BM (2004) Study Guide Nematoda Parasitology. Fall 2012 Heth:3–10. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/phyla/ecdysozoa/nematoda.html

  • Wallace Lee R, Ricci C, Melone G (1996) A cladistic analysis of pseudocoelomate (aschelminth) morphology. Invertebr Biol 115(2):104–112

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wildenburg G, Liebau E, Henkel-Duhresen K (1998) Onchoceca volvulous : ultrastructural localization glutathione S- transferase. Exp Parasitol 88(1):34–42

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Wright KA, Thomson JN (1981) The buccal capsule of C. elegans (Nematoda: Rhabditoidea): an ultrastructural study. Can J Zool 59:1952–1961

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Xu X, Kim S (2011) The early bird catches the worm: new technologies for the Caenorhabditis elegans toolkit. Nat Rev Genet 12:793–801

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Maha M. A. Basyoni.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Basyoni, M.M.A., Rizk, E.M.A. Nematodes ultrastructure: complex systems and processes. J Parasit Dis 40, 1130–1140 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12639-015-0707-8

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12639-015-0707-8

Keywords

Navigation