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A Low-Light Remote Recording System Used To Study Nematode Behaviour

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For more content, see Nematology.

In a new method of recording oscillatory phenomena, fluctuating output from a photocell applied to a closed-circuit T.V. monitor screen is amplified and displayed on a pen-recorder chart. We used the system to record pumping frequency in the oesophageal feeding pump of the stem and bulb nematode, Ditylenchus dipsaci, throughout long and short feeds on bean leaf epidermis under the microscope. Stylet thrusting during penetration of food cell walls has also been recorded. The two stages of amplification (T.V. camera to monitor and photocell to chart) allow very low light levels, that do not disturb the nematodes, to be used even with high powers of the microscope (2,000 ×). The system has several advantages over cinephotography for recording frequencies of cyclical activities, (e.g. longer-period recording, immediate availability of record and lower running cost) and is potentially very versatile.

Affiliations: 1: Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England


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