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Defaecation in a Passively-Feeding Plant Nematode, Hexatylus Viviparus (Neotylenchidae : Tylenchida)

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For more content, see Nematology.

Rectal movements in Hexatylus viviparus associated with ejection of intestinal contents have been analysed from ciné film. Every 15-20 min during feeding on fungal hyphae about ten defaecation cycles occur, when the rectum bows dorsally and liquid and fungal globules are expelled. Concurrently about 60 rectal pumping cycles eject small quantities of liquid only, with the rectum straight. The two processes seem under independent control and are asynchronous, (rectal pumping being usually slightly faster) so that they "interfere" and produce a jerky overall movement. H. viviparus has a low body pressure and is passively fed from high pressure fungus cells; rectal pumping is thought to help keep body pressure low for feeding. A closable prerectum and prerectal valve, required to limit volume of faeces expelled from a high pressure nematode, are absent from H. viviparus.

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


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