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The Influence of Soil Moisture On Survival and Hatch of Meloidogyne Javanica

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For more content, see Nematology.

Egg sacs do not appear to possess any marked powers of water retention; even at suctions of 50 cm of water there is a marked shrinkage of the egg sac and most of the water is removed at 200 cm of water suction. In an atmosphere of relative humidity 98% (equivalent to 28 × 103 cm of water suction) the percentage of second stage larvae in eggs increased from 7 to 45% in 5 days resulting in an increased rate of hatch when the egg sacs were placed in water. The egg sac matrix is an efficient barrier to water loss for the eggs contained inside. Eggs removed from the egg sac showed a marked decline in hatch in water after exposure to 98% R.H.; the experiment failed to demonstrate any difference in resistance to desiccation between eggs containing embryos and those containing second stage larvae. The level of the maximum hatch in glass beads decreases with decrease in size of the pores. It is suggested that eggs stop hatching when the pores empty because the egg sac shrinks thereby exerting a mechanical pressure on the egg shell and this factor plus the low hydraulic conductivity and the suction inhibit uptake of water by the egg. Swelling and distortion of the egg which are prerequisites for hatching are consequently inhibited. A hypothetical hatching curve in soil relating suction, soil moisture, crumb size and aeration is given.

Affiliations: 1: Division of Horticultural Research, C.S.I.R.O., Glen Osmond, South Australia


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