Functional Aspects of the Lower Size-Limit of Nematodes

Functional Aspects of the Lower Size-Limit of Nematodes FUNCTIONAL ASPECTS OF THE LOWER SIZE-LIMIT OF NEMATODES BY D. R. ROGGEN 1) Instituut voor Dierkunde, Rijksuniversiteit, Gent, Belgium A theoretical investigation of the form-function relationship in the pharynx of nematodes leads to the conclusion that there exists a lower limit to the length of the pharynx and, a f ortiori, to the length of the body. This minimal length can be lowered only by decreasing the internal hydrostatic pressure in the body cavity. A low pressure will interfere with the locomotion of the nematode and it is to be expected that very small nematodes will show atypical ways of locomotion. This seems indeed to be the case. Harris & Crofton (1957) came to the conclusion that "the mechanical factors which determine the general features of nematodes will thus be independent of the scale on which the model is built". Although this rule is valid for the majority of nematodes, it does not hold for the smallest ones, as we will now try to show. Let us first consider how the nematode pharynx functions as a self-sealing valve. When the lumen is completely opened and the radial muscles relax, the lumen will close under the influence of the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nematologica Brill

Functional Aspects of the Lower Size-Limit of Nematodes

Nematologica , Volume 16 (4): 532 – Jan 1, 1970

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1970 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0028-2596
eISSN
1875-2926
D.O.I.
10.1163/187529270X00720
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

FUNCTIONAL ASPECTS OF THE LOWER SIZE-LIMIT OF NEMATODES BY D. R. ROGGEN 1) Instituut voor Dierkunde, Rijksuniversiteit, Gent, Belgium A theoretical investigation of the form-function relationship in the pharynx of nematodes leads to the conclusion that there exists a lower limit to the length of the pharynx and, a f ortiori, to the length of the body. This minimal length can be lowered only by decreasing the internal hydrostatic pressure in the body cavity. A low pressure will interfere with the locomotion of the nematode and it is to be expected that very small nematodes will show atypical ways of locomotion. This seems indeed to be the case. Harris & Crofton (1957) came to the conclusion that "the mechanical factors which determine the general features of nematodes will thus be independent of the scale on which the model is built". Although this rule is valid for the majority of nematodes, it does not hold for the smallest ones, as we will now try to show. Let us first consider how the nematode pharynx functions as a self-sealing valve. When the lumen is completely opened and the radial muscles relax, the lumen will close under the influence of the

Journal

NematologicaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1970

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