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Extensive research conducted in the laboratory of Ralf Sommer, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tubingen, Germany.
Pristionchus pacificus – genome completed by NIH.
The Pristionchus genome is 169 Mb with >23,500 genes. (Caenorhabditis elegans genome is 100 Mb with 20,170 protein-coding genes).
Pristionchus spp. have cellulases, presumably through horizontal transfer from microbes (Smant, 1998).
Unlike the rhabditids, Pristionchus and other diplogasterids do not have a grinder in the basal bulb of the esophagus, so there are living bacteria in the intestine.
The mouth also differs from the tubular stoma of the rhabditids and has two forms, with teeth (eurystomatous) or without teeth (stenostomatous). Tooth formation is triggered by starvation, similar to the dauer trigger in C. elegans. Eurystomatous forms are able to feed on fungi.
Generation time is 4 days.
Dauerlarva formation occurs under conditions of high nematode density and low food availability, similar to C. elegans.
Oriental beetle (
P. pacificus is considered to be hermaphroditic but does produce males.