The Influence of Temperature on Development and Sex Differentiation of Meloidogyne graminis

C. W. Laughlin, A. S. Williams, J. A. Fox


Meloidogyne grarninis (Sledge and Golden) Whitehead on Cynodon sp. (var. 'Tifgreen' bermudagrass) was studied at four temperatures; 16, 21, 27, and 32 C. Both mode and rate of development were temperature dependent. Females developed more rapidly and in greater numbers at 27 C: saccate females exuding matrices were present 14 days following inoculation, eggs were laid after 21 days and newly-hatched larvae were present in the matrix at 25 days. Sex differentiation to males was 80% at 32 C and 4% at 27 C. No males were observed at 21 or 16 C. Developing males were present 14 days following inoculation and emerged from roots after 21 days at 32 C. In populations pre-exposed to 27 C then transferred to 32 C, the percentage of males ranged from 0 for 1 day exposure at the initial temperature to 45.5% after 5 days. After 11 days pre-exposure the recovery of males was 4.3%. Individuals interpreted to be male sex reversals and male intersexes were noted. Pre-exposure at 32 C for 1 or 2 days followed by 27 C produced 1-2% males, while exposure for 3 or more days at 32 C followed by 27 C produced 90% males.

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