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Longevity of Males and Fertilisation of Females of Heterodera Rostochiensis

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After emerging from roots, H. rostochiensis males remained active for 9 or 10 days whether females were present or not. Females modified male behaviour by secreting a sex attractant powerful enough to attract males up to at least 15 cm away. Isolated females remained fertilisable for at least 40 days beyond the time when they would normally be fertilised. When allowed to mate on plants, some females were fertilised as soon as 24 days after the roots were invaded by the larvae. Very young females seemed able to store enough sperm to fertilise all their eggs. Most females were mated soon after they ruptured the root cortex and within a few days of males beginning to emerge. All females were mated within 50 days of roots being invaded.

Affiliations: 1: Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts., England


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