Histopathology of Root-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) Infection on White Yam (Dioscorea rotundata) Tubers

B. Fawole


White yam tissues naturally and artificially infected with root-knot nematodes were fixed, sectioned, and examined with a microscope. Infective second-stage juveniles of Meloidogyne incognita penetrated and moved intercellularly within the tuber. Feeding sites were always in the ground tissue layer where the vascular tissues are distributed in the tubers. Giant cells were always associated with xylem tissue. They were thin walled with dense cytoplasm and multinucleated. The nuclei of the giant cells were only half the size of those found in roots of infected tomato plants. Normal nematode growth and development followed giant cell formation. Females deposited eggs into a gelatinous egg mass within the tuber, and a necrotic ring formed around the female after eggs had been produced. Second-stage juveniles hatched, migrated, and re-infected other areas of the tuber. No males were observed from the tuber. Key words: giant cell, histopathology, Meloidogyne incognita, root-knot nematode, yam.

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