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Geographical Distribution, Hosts and Biological Characteristics of Trophonema Okamotoi (Nematoda: Tylenchulidae)

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Trophonema okamotoi populations from Florida showed intraspecific morphometric variability and did not differ from those from Costa Rica and Venezuela. Swollen females of these populations had tapering tails with bluntly rounded or small rounded termini like those of T. okamotoi paratypes from Japan and unlike the pointed or minutely digitate tail termini of T. arenarium paratypes from California. Hosts of T. okamotoi were Liquidambar syraciflua and an uncultivated tropical grass in Florida, and Gyranthera caribensis in Venezuela. At 22 ± 2° C embryogenic development of T. okamotoi was completed in 14 days and the first-stage juvenile moulted in the egg 16 days after egg deposition. Swollen females, males, second-stage juveniles, and eggs (50-120 eggs per female) were covered by a soft or hardened gelatinous matrix, which was produced by the secretory-excretory cell, and exuded through the secretory-excretory pore. Histological observations of L. styraciflua and tropical grass roots infected by T. okamotoi showed this species to be a cortical feeder. Females penetrated the epidermis of L. styraciflua roots and also 5-6 cortical layers in the roots of the tropical grass. They established a syncytium in the cortex.

Affiliations: 1: Bureau of Nematology, D. P. I., Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville, FL 32614-7100, USA; 2: Istituto di Nematologia Agraria, C. N. R., 70126 Bari, Italy; 3: Universidad Central de Venezuela, Facultad de Agronomia, Instituto de Zoologia Agricola, Apartado 4579 Maracay, Aragua 2101, Venezuela


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