Energetics of Meloidogyne incognita on Resistant and Susceptible Alyceclover Genotypes


  • L. E. Powers
  • R. McSorley


To determine the energy cost of a population of Meloidogyne incognita on the roots of alyceclover, nematode biomass was estimated and equations in the literature were used to calculate energy budgets. Amounts of energy consumed, respired, or used in production of nematode biomass were calculated. Results suggested that severe infestations of root-knot nematodes can remove significant quantities of energy from their hosts. Over a 36-day period, a population of 2.6 females of M. incognita per root system removed less than 0.4 calories of energy from a resistant alyceclover plant but over 11 calories were removed by 28 females from a susceptible alyceclover. The calculations indicate that on the resistant alyceclover line, 53% of the energy assimilated by the root-knot population was allocated to respiration, with only 47% allocated to production, whereas on the susceptible line, 65% of the assimilated energy was allocated to production. Such energy demands by the parasite could result in significant reductions in yield quantity and quality at a field production level. Key words: Alysicarpus vaginalis, assimilation, consumption, energy allocation, nematode, production, resistance, respiration, root-knot nematode.