The female gonad of Longidorus africanus Merny and the influence of the host on its development

  • Susanna Grimaldi de Zio
  • F. Lamberti
  • Maria Rosario Marone de Lucia


The effect of the host on the population levels of Longidorus a/rieanus Merny has been studied by Lamberti (1968). He found that the nematode reproduced very wei I on sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) increasing the initial population levels by 362°/{j in an experiment conducted from May to October 1967 and by 1100% in a second experiment carried out from November 1967 to April 1968. Plants such as Bermuda grass (Cynodon daelylon L.), Eggplant (Solanum me/ol1- /;C}/(l L.), spinach (SpinClcia oleracea L.), and Iectuce (Laetuca sativa L.), appeared to be inciifrcrent hosts for L. (I/ricwllls in the first e.\.periment, but in the second one population increases of 180 (0 280°0 were obtained with respcct (u thc ini( ;~d \c,"cls. The results of these e:q1erimen(s suggest (hal (he quali(y 01 the host, perhaps associated with dillerent grU\\!h rates at different times of year, influence the reproductive behavior 01 the nematode. Possibly the plant supplies nutrients essenlial for nematode development, particularly for reproduction. In the case of an unfavourable host on the other hand, reproduction may not take place because the nematode is unable to feed on it or because the host docs supply certain substances which negatively affect the sexual development of the nematode. Therefore, having available the material of Lamberti's (1968) e.\.periments and other populations of L. a/ricClnlls grown for different periods of time in soil planted with various hosts, it was thought that useful information could be obtained from a detailed study of the sexual development of the nematode in relation to its nutritional status.