Atomic Force Microscopy of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes

A. Ciancio


A simple method for atomic force microscopy (AFM) of nematode cuticle was developed to visualize the external topography of Helicotylenchus lobus, Meloidogyne javanica, M. incognita, and Xiphinema diversicaudatum. Endospores of two isolates of the nematode parasite, Pasteuria penetrans, adhering to M. incognita and X. diversicaudatum were also visualized and measured by this technique. Scanning procedures were applied to specimens killed and dehydrated in air or dehydrated and stored in glycerol. Atomic force microscopy scanning of nematodes in constant height mode yielded replicated high-resolution images of the cuticle showing anatomical details such as annulations and lateral fields. Submicrometer scale images allowed the identification of planar regions for further higher resolution scans. Key words: atomic force microscope, AFM, cuticle, endospore, morphology, nematode, Pasteuvia penetram, scanning probe microscopy, ultrastructure.

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