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Influence of Feeding Duration On Moulting and Sex Determination of Meloidogyne Incognita

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For more content, see Nematology.

Second stage Meloidogyne incognita larvae of different sizes were dissected from plant roots and placed in water agar to observe their development. The same population was tested in 1968 and again in 1970. Larvae that had fed for less than 9 days at 22° C were unable to moult, but depending on how long they had fed, older larvae moulted to the third, fourth or fifth stage. Larvae moulted to the third stage at approximately the same age irrespective of feeding duration. Most larvae dissected from roots 10, 11 or 12 days after inoculation in 1968 became male, whereas older larvae became female. There was a strong correlation between mean width of larvae at the time of dissection and their subsequent development. The same population retested in 1970, gave different results. Fully fed second stage larvae were smaller than in 1968 and sex was no longer labile. Larvae that had fed for more than 10 days were female, if they became sexually differentiated at all. As the population had been kept in isolation and was morphologically unchanged, the change in behaviour of the population was probably caused by selection between tests of a line able to become female in poor environmental conditions.

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


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