Risk taking of educated nematodes

Denis S. Willett, Hans T. Alborn, Lukasz L. Stelinski, David I. Shapiro-Ilan, David Joseph Diemert
2018 PLoS ONE  
Nematode parasites rely on successful host infection to perpetuate their species. Infection by individual nematode parasites can be risky, however; any one individual could be killed by the host's immune response. Here we use a model system to show that environmental cues and parasite past experience can be used by entomopathogenic nematodes to reduce individual risk of infection. Past parasite experience can more than double the infective virulence (number of host invaders) of a given cohort
more » ... of a given cohort of entomopathogenic nematode parasites. This plasticity in individual parasite risk-taking and associated infection can be used to manage infection of parasitic nematodes: enhancing biological control with entomopathogenic nematodes and developing behavioral and chemical strategies to reduce infection by vertebrate and plant parasitic nematodes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0205804 fatcat:yzc5edcazzdy3nytviomi5qq5e