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Root and Cell Response To Feeding By Xiphinema Index

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image of Nematologica
For more content, see Nematology.

Feeding was observed and examined on seedlings of Ficus carica and Lycopersicon esculentum under gnotobiotic conditions in agar culture. Growing roots of fig seedlings were usually first attacked in the zone of elongation. The tips of such roots progressively swelled and developed into proliferating galls when feeding was continued for several days. Galled root-tips remained strongly attractive to feeding nematodes. About 1.0 μm thin sections through such galls revealed multinucleate and hypertrophied cells beneath and between necrotic cells at feeding sites. These modified cells, induced under aseptic conditions, were orientated to feeding sites. They were filled with cytoplasm and contained agglomerations of hypertrophied, lobed, nuclei with enlarged nucleoli. In serial sections up to 25 nuclei were counted in one single hypertrophied cell. This multinucleate condition appeared to arise from repeated mitoses without cytokinesis. In older cells signs of cell wall dissolution were quite common. Empty multinucleate cells adjacent to undamaged cells indicated that they were probably directly parasitized by feeding nematodes. The possible function of the modified cells is dicussed. Their induction appears to be a precondition for a successful host-parasite relationship. Single females produced many eggs when feeding on galled root-tips of fig seedlings. Egg production was, however, not induced when feeding was confined to root-tips of tomato seedlings which responded only with a slight swelling. Sections through parasitized tomato root-tips showed only necrotic cell reactions at feeding sites.

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


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