Adenosine Triphosphate Quantification as Related to Cryptobiosis, Nematode Eggs, and Larvae

Harvey W. Spurr Jr.


Sonification was the most effective method used for disintegrating nematode eggs and larvae for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) determinations. Sensitivity of the assay was sufficient to measure ATP in one larva. Second-stage larvae of Anguina tritici averaged 1 x 10[sup5] femtograms (fg) ATP and Meloidogyne incognita eggs, 0.8 x 105 fg ATP. Larvae of Panagrellus redivivus, a saprobe, averaged 12.2 x 105 fg ATP, a measurement which was considerably higher than the ATP levels in plant parasites. Endophytic bacteria and fungi from wheat galls were detected as background organisms associated with A. tritiei activated by hydration. Also, bacteria in suspensitms of eggs from M. incognita prepared with NaCIO were measured by the use of butanol extraction and ATP determination. Second-stage A. tritici larvae increased in ATP content within 40 min after being activated from cryptobiosis by hydration. In the cryptobiotic state, larvae had 50% less ATP' than when active. ATP concentrations were similar in galls of different ages. Apparently, ATP concentrations do not change during cryptobiosis. Starvation results in a decline in ATP concentration/larva. Subjecting A. tritici larvae to the lethal temperature of 60 C resulted in a three-fold increase in the decay rate o[ ATP over that of larvae snnified, then heated at 60 C. These results suggest an association between ATP decay and the mechanism that causes death of larvae at elevated temperatures. Key Words: Anguina tritici, Meloidogyne incognita, Panagrellus redivivus, starvation, thermal inactivation.

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