Oogenesis and the Chromosomes of the Parthenogenic Root-knot Nematode Meloidogyne incognita

A. C. Triantaphyllou


220 populations of Meloidogyne incognita and related forms from 46 countries reproduced by mitotic parthenogenesis (apomixis). Determination of somatic chromosome numbers from oogonia and oocytes revealed the existence of a predominant, possibly triploid race A with 3n = 40 to 46 and a rare, diploid race B with 2n = 32 to 36 chromosomes. There is no correlation between cytological races and the four recognized host races of this species. The characteristic behavior of prophase I chromosomes of maturing oocytes, which results in a prolonged prophase stage, is a unifying feature of all forms of M. incognita and supports monophyletic evolution, distinct from that of other Meloidogyne species. Extensive chromosomal polymorphism detected among populations can be helpful in elucidating the cytological pathway of evolution of the species. Key words: cytology, reproduction, polyploidy, polymorphism, races, evolution.

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