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Feeding Phases of Xiphinema Index and Associated Processes in the Feeding Apparatus

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For more content, see Nematology.

Feeding mechanisms in Xiphinema index were observed, filmed and later analysed with the aid of cine film evaluation facilities. All the studies were made with X. index feeding on root tips of Ficus carica seedlings on agar culture in special observation chambers. Emphasis was placed on the events of a complete feeding cycle which is composed of distinct phases. Feeding sites are explored by lip contact only. The odontophore rotates during cell wall perforation by the odontostyle, but rotation is absent when the odontostyle is thrust rapidly through the contents of perforated cells. The odontostyle is usually inserted three to four cells deep before X. index starts feeding. Feeding behaviour after odontostyle protraction is characterized by a short phase (average 18s) with a definite sequence of events such as basal bulb elongation, depletion of gland ducts, shortening of the bulb and subsequent initiation of ingestion. Ingestion of food is achieved by the rapid pumping action of the basal bulb and is typically intermittent. Periods of continuous bulb pulsation alternate with short periods of pumping quiescence during which the bulb shortens and the gland ducts narrow from back to front, forcing fluids through them and also through the short duct that opens into the oesophageal lumen. It is possible that X. index releases salivary fluids into perforated cells during the short phase of prolonged bulb elongation just after odontostyle penetration and probably also during the brief ingestion pauses.

Affiliations: 1: Institut für Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz der Technischen Universität Hannover, B.R. Deutschland


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