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Cuticle Structure and 'Cement' Formation At the Anterior End of Female Cyst-Nematodes of the Genera Heterodera and Globodera (Heteroderidae: Tylenchida)

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The anterior region of cyst-nematode females, which remains embedded within the host root, was subdivided by Green (1971, 1976) into head, neck and thorax. The diameter of this region is about one tenth of the maximum body girth and the cuticle is proportionately thinner due to the absence of some layers in the head and neck, and to the layers being thinner in the thorax than in the abdomen. The thin cuticle in the neck and its rather crude annulations allow the head to move slightly when feeding, actuated by body wall muscles, the only ones remaining in the sedentary female. The tanned and hardened 'cement' globules often found encrusting the head end of cyst-nematode females exude from small breaks in the cuticle, mostly in the outermost layer (A1). The possible source of this material and the cause of the cuticular perforations are discussed.

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


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