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ABSTRACT: The pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, reproduces bisexually: a haploid sperm fertilizes a haploid oocyte, and the two pronuclei rearrange, move together, fuse,
and begin diploid development. Early embryonic events taking place in the B. xylophilus embryo are similar to those of Caenorhabditis elegans, although the anterior-posterior axis appears to be determined oppositely to that observed for C. elegans. That is, in the B. xylophilus embryo, the male pronucleus emerges at the future anterior end, whereas the female pronucleus appears laterally. To understand
the evolution of nematode developmental systems, we cloned the full length of Bx-tbb-1 (beta tubulin) from B. xylophilus cDNA and attempted to apply reverse genetics analysis to B. xylophilus. Several lengths of double stranded RNA (dsRNA) for the Bx-tbb-1 gene were synthesized by in vitro transcription, and both B. xylophilus and C. elegans were soaked in dsRNA for RNAi. Both nematodes could suck up the dsRNA, and we could detect the abnormal phenotypes caused
by Bx-tbb-1 dsRNA in C. elegans, but not in B. xylophilus. We suspect that systemic RNAi might be suppressed in B. xylophilus and are attempting to establish other methods for functionally analyzing B. xylophilus genes.
12/2007: pages 91-100;