Histological Studies of Ditylenchus africanus Within Peanut Pods


  • C. Venter
  • G. van Aswegen
  • A. J. Meyer
  • D. De Waele


Ditylenchus africanus entered the immature pegs and pods of peanut (Arachis hypogaea cv. Sellie) at the peg-connection and subsequently invaded the parenchymatous regions of the hull exocarp and endocarp, and eventually the seed testa. The nematode caused malformations of the cells of infected tissues, cell wall breakage, and cell collapse. The damage appeared to be due to enzymatic activity. In some testae the entire parenchyma region, which aids in protection of the seed, was destroyed. In immature pods, the nematodes moved across the fibrous region of the mesocarp into the hull endocarp. In mature pods, however, the fibrous mesocarp of the hull was lignified and apparently was a barrier to penetration of the inner pod tissues. In late-harvested pods, increased numbers of eggs and anhydrobiotes were found in the hull tissues, and eggs in the seed testa, suggesting the onset of winter survival mechanisms of the nematode. Key words: Arachis hypogaea, Ditylenchus africanus, histology, nematode, peanut, penetration, survival mechanism.