Water, Water Compartments and Water Regulation in Some Nematodes Parasitic in Vertebrates

K. G. Davey


While nematodes are sometimes regarded as osmoconformers, at least one species is capable of short-term osmoregulation over a wide range of osmotic environments, and the principal site of osmoregulation is the body wall. This general osmoregulation is important to the life of the nematode not only in confronting variations in the environment, but also in maintaining its hydrostatic skeleton. There is also evidence suggesting that compartments exist in some nematodes and that water exchange between the compartments is limited and slow. The ability to regulate the internal movements of water is important in molting and in the infective process. Hormones may be the mediators of osmotic control. Key words: animal parasitic nematode, Haemonchus contortus, nematode, osmotic control, osmoregulation, Pseudoterranova decipiens, regulation, water compartment.

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