The effects of temperature change on phospholipid content in metacercariae of Posthodiplostomum minimum and their second intermediate hosts, Lepomis macrochirus, were examined to gauge similarities in the homeoviscous adaptation of host and parasite membranes to environmental thermal change. Heart, liver, and muscle tissues from individual L. macrochirus responded to environmental temperature declines with a decrease in the ratio of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) to phosphatidylcholine (PC). Increases in membrane PE concentration increase membrane fluidity, maintaining fish membrane function as environmental temperature declines. However, the metacercariae of P. minimum exhibit changes in cholesterol levels, total lipid levels, and lipid composition (PE/PC) that contrast the normal changes for homeoviscous membrane adaptation exhibited by their fish intermediate hosts. The parasites seem to rely on their hosts for homeoviscous adaptation within normal developmental temperature ranges, pooling both cholesterol and PE as energetic stores for development and ontological transitions signaled by elevated temperatures.

You do not currently have access to this content.