Effect of Inhibitors and Stimulators of Ethylene Production on Gall Development in Meloidogyne javanica-Infected Tomato Roots

  • Itamar Glazer
  • Akiva Apelbaum
  • Daniel Orion


Excised tomato roots infected with Meloidogynejavanica produced ethylene at 3-6 times the rate of noninfected roots. This increase in ethylene production started 5 days after inoculation. Gall growth and ethylene production in infected roots were accelerated by 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), indole acetic acid (IAA), and ethrel known as ethylene production stimulators. When inhibitors of ethylene production, like aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) or aminoxyacetic acid (AOA), or inhibitors of ethylene action like silver thiosulfate (STS), were applied, gall growth and ethylene production were inhibited. Enhanced expansion of parenchymatous cells was observed in sections from nematode-induced galls and ethylene-treated roots. Lignification of xylem elements and fibers in the vascular cylinder was markedly inhibited in the gall, compared with noninfected root tissue. Because ethylene is known to induce cell expansion and to inhibit lignification, it is suggested that this plant hormone plays a major role in the development of M. induced galls. Ethylene affects gall size by enhancing parenchymatous tissue development and allows javanica-expansion of giant cells and the nematode body by reducing tissue lignification. Key words: ethylene production, ethylene stimulators, ethylene inhibitors, parenchymatous tissue, cell expansion, lignification.