Nematodes have sensitive olfactory perception, which is used to detect and differentiate many volatile odorants. Some odorants are attractive, others repulsive, and yet others evoke no particular response. Chemotaxis assays can be used to determine the role of certain odors in many different behaviors including foraging, predator avoidance, and mate attraction. In addition to chemotaxis, some species of nematodes in the entomopathogenic genus Steinernema can jump, which is thought to play an important role in host-seeking and dispersal (Dillman and Sternberg, 2012). Jumping and chemotaxis assays have been successfully used to identify odorants that stimulate these behaviors in a variety of nematodes (Bargmann et al., 1993; Campbell and Kaya, 1999; Hallem et al., 2011; Dillman et al., 2012; Castelletto et al., 2014). Here a detailed protocol for chemotaxis and jumping assays is provided based on the growing body of literature.
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