Autoradiography of Developing Syncytia in Cotton Roots Infected with Meloidogyne incognita

R. A. Rohde, M. A. McClure


Cotton (Gos.tvpium hirsutum) seedlings, uniformly infected with Meloidogyne incognita, were exposed for periods of 1-15 days to a nutrient solution containing tritium-labelled thymidine. Syncytium formation began with the amalgamation of cells near the nematode head, and was followed by synchronized mitoses of the nuclei which had been incorporated into a single cell. Syncytial nuclei synthesized DNA in roots harvested 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 days after inoculation. Seedlings transferred from unlabelled to labelled nutrient solution 9 days after inoculation, and grown for 6 more days, contained some syncytial nuclei which did not become labelled. Giant-cell nuclei increased in size and, in many cases, all nuclei in one giant cell of a set showed active DNA synthesis at about the time the nematode molted to the adult stage. Key Words: root-knot nematode, giant cell, DNA synthesis.

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