Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


Date of this Version



Journal of the Helminthological Society of Washington (1991) 58(1): 43-50.


Copyright 1991, HELMSOC. Used by permission.


Sterols from mixed stages of the com root lesion nematode, Pratylenchus agilis, and uninfected corn root cultures were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Twenty-eight sterols were identified in P. agilis, including nine not previously detected in nematodes. The major sterols were 24-ethylcholest-22-enol, 24-ethylcholesta-5,22-dienol, 24-methy1cholestanol, 24-ethylcholestanol, isofucostanol, and 24-ethylcholesterol. The principal corn root sterols were 24-ethylcholesta-5,22-dienol, 24-methylcholesterol, 24-ethylcholesterol, isofucosterol, and cycloartenol. Therefore, the major metabolic transformation of sterols by P. agilis was saturation of the sterol nucleus. In addition, very small amounts of 4α-methylsterols were biosynthesized by P. agilis. The 4-methylation pathway is unique to nematodes and was previously demonstrated only in free-living Rhabditida. The sterol composition of P. agilis is remarkably different from that of other nematodes in its very small relative percentage of cholesterol (0.4% of the total nematode sterol).