Biochemical Changes in Terminal Root Galls Caused by an Ectoparasitic Nematode, Longidorus africanus: Amino Acids

E. Epstein, E. Cohn


The amino acids of terminal root galls caused by Longidorus africanus on bur marigold (Bidens tripartita L.) and grapevine (Vitis vini[era L.) were studied. The galled roots of bur marigold contained 73% more cell-wall protein and 184% more free amino acids. The main changes among the free amino acids of the galled tissue were a large increase (1900%) in proline and a decrease in aspartic acid (56%) compared with the respective check tissue. Hydroxyproline decreased in the wall protein fraction from 5.6% in the healthy tissue to 3.6% in the infected tissue. Percent of hydroxyproline in total amino acids of the wall protein fraction of grapevine roots decreased from 0.7% in the healthy tissue to 0.3% in the galled tissue, and total proteins of this fraction decreased from 9.5 mg to 4.5 rag, respectively. Total protein in the protoplasmic fraction also decreased from 3.0 mg in healthy to 1.0 mg in infected roots. No change was noticed in total proteins in the free amino acids fraction but free proline decreased 40% in the infected roots. The relationship of these differences to the specific reactions of the hosts to nematode feeding is discussed. Key Words: Proline, Hydroxyproline, Aspartic acid, Glutamic acid.

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