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Influence of the Environment On Development and Sex Differentiation of Root-Knot Nematodes

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For more content, see Nematology.

High infection density reduced the rate of development and significantly increased the percent of males of Meloidogyne incognita and M. javanica propagated on tomato plants. The age of the host plants did not substantially influence either the rate of development or the sex ratio of these species. The majority of M. incognita larvae reached the adult stage within 10 days following inoculation at 35° C and within 50 days at 15° C. Males of M. incognita constituted less than 1 percent of the nematodes developed at 20°, 25°, 30° or 35° and about 6.7 percent at 15°. In an effort to explain the observed deviations in sex ratios several possibilities are discussed. The most likely explanation is that (a) the majority of the larvae are genetically determined as females and (b) environmental conditions unfavorable for the development of the nematodes exercise a masculinizing effect on the developing larvae.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Pathology, University of the Philippines, College of Agriculture, Laguna, Philippines; 2: Department of Genetics, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A


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