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The Effect of Nutrition and Season of Year On the Reproduction of Trichodorus Viruliferus

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Records of the occurrence of actively breeding female Trichodorus viruliferus in an orchard population, sampled at random, or in colonies aggregated near the tips of large, extending apple roots, showed that breeding continued throughout the year in both sites, but that the proportion with developed oocytes was consistently higher near the root tips (80% mean) than in the random samples (18% mean). It is concluded that root tip colonies constitute the main breeding site of T. viruliferus on mature apple trees. Laboratory studies of the life cycle indicate that larval development is too slow to account for the observed rapid population increase in apple root tip colonies of T. viruliferus. This phenomenon must therefore be regarded as a form of aggregation whose mechanism remains unknown.

Affiliations: 1: East Malling Research Station, Maidstone, Kent, England


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