Host-Parasite Relationships of Atalodera spp. (Heteroderidae)


  • M. Mundo-Ocampo
  • J. G. Baldwin


Atalodera ucri, Wouts and Sher, 1971, and A. lonicerae, (Wouts, 1973) Luc et al., 1978, induce similar multinucleate syncytia in roots of golden bush and honeysuckle, respectively. The syncytium is initiated in the cortex; as it expands, it includes several partially delimited syncytial units and distorts vascular tissue. Outer walls of the syncytium are relatively smooth and thickest near the feeding site of the nematode; inner walls are interrupted by perforations which enlarge as syncytial units increase in size. The cytoplasm of the syncytium is granular and includes numerous plastids, mitochondria, vacuoles, Golgi, and a complex network of membranes. Nuclei are greatly enlarged and amoeboid in shape. Although more than one nucleus sometimes occur in a given syncytial unit, no mitotic activity was observed. Syncytia induced by species of Atalodera chiefly differ from those of Heterodera sensu lato by the absence of cell wall ingrowths; wall ingrowths increase solute transport and characterize transfer cells. In syncytia of Atalodera spp., a high incidence of pits and pit fields in walls adjacent to vasctdar elements suggests that in this case plasmodesmata provide the pathway for increased entry of sohttes. The formation of a syncytium by species of Atalodera and Heterodera sensu lato, but a single uninucleate giant cell by Sarisodera and Hylonema, indicates a pattern of host responses that may be useful, with other characters, for phylogenetic inference for Heteroderidae. Key words: Heteroderoidea, histopathology, syncytium, giant cell.