Kulkarni A et al.
Nematodes of the genus Strongyloides are important parasites of vertebrates including man. Currently, little is known about their germline organization or reproductive biology and how this influences their parasitic life strategies. Here, we analyze the structure of the germline in several Strongyloides and closely related species and uncover striking differences in the development, germline organization, and fluid dynamics compared to the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. With a focus on Strongyloides ratti, we reveal that the proliferation of germ cells is restricted to early and mid-larval development, thus limiting the number of progeny. In order to understand key germline events (specifically germ cell progression and the transcriptional status of the germline), we monitored conserved histone modifications, in particular H3Pser10 and H3K4me3. The evolutionary significance of these events is subsequently highlighted through comparisons with six other nematode species, revealing underlying complexities and variations in the development of the germline among nematodes