Nematodes are small multicellular organisms that have been used as biological models since the 1960s. For example, Caenorhabditis elegans is a free-living nematode worm, about 1mm in length, that lives in temperate soil environments. It is made up of about 1000 cells and has a short life cycle of only two weeks. It was the first multicellular organism to have its whole genome sequenced.
The book summarizes the importance of nematodes as model organisms in the fields of genetics, developmental biology, neurobiology, pharmacology, nutrition, ecology and parasitology.
Of interest to a broad audience across a wide spectrum of disciplines, this book is useful for biologists working on comparative studies to investigate biological processes across organisms; medical scientists and pharmacologists for exploration of drugs and medicine (including the use of genome editing to eliminate diseases); ecologists considering nematodes as indicators for environment changes; and parasitologists for host-parasite interactions. Many other researchers can use this book as a benchmark for the broad implications of nematology research on other aspects of science.
Part 1: Biological Systems
Chapter 1: The genus Pristionchus: a model for phenotypic plasticity, predatory behavior, self-recognition and other complex traits
Chapter 2: Aging
Chapter 3: Entomopathogenic nematodes as a model for probing the insect immune system
Chapter 4: The use of the root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne spp., for studying biotrophic parasitic interactions
Chapter 5: Nematodes as a model for symbiosis
Chapter 6: Nematode pharmacology: neurotransmitters, receptors and experimental approaches
Part 2: Ecology and Toxicology
Chapter 7: Nematodes as ecological and environmental Indicators
Chapter 8: Use in soil agro-ecology
Chapter 9: Stress and survival mechanisms
Chapter 10: Molecular toxicology in Caenorhabditis elegans
Chapter 11: Nematode use for testing theoretical models of behavioral ecology
Chapter 12: Entomopathogenic nematodes as models For inundative biological control
Chapter 13: Parasitic nematodes and their symbiosis with bacteria: model systems for studying parasitism and pathogenesis
Chapter 14: Genetic improvement of beneficial organisms
Itamar Glazer is a Researcher at the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Volcani Center, Israel.
David Shapiro-Ilan is a Supervisory Research Entomologist at USDA-ARS, Georgia, USA. Dr Shapiro-Ilan's research focuses on invertebrate pathology/microbial control. Areas of interest emphasize the study of entomopathogenic nematodes and include biological control applications, production and formulation technology, and studies on nematode behaviour (especially foraging dynamics). Dr. Shapiro-Ilan has published 180 peer-reviewed journal articles plus 24 book chapters and > 40 trade journal/extension articles; he has co-edited 3 books and is an inventor on 7 patents. Selected awards include Fellow of the Society of Nematologists, EEO/Civil Rights, Excellence in IPM (SEB-ESA, 2012), and > $7 million as PI/co-PI on competitive grants. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Nematology, and Editor of the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.
Paul Sternberg is Professor of Biology at Caltech, USA.