Feeding on Different Host Plants Alters the Natural Abundances of [greek small letter delta] ¹³C and [greek small letter delta] ¹[sup5]N in Longidoridae (Nemata)

Roy Neilson, Derek J. F. Brown

Abstract


Natural abundances of the stable isotope pairs ¹³C/¹²C ([greek small letter delta] ¹³C) and ¹[sup5]N/¹[sup4]N ([greek small letter delta] ¹[sup5]N) have been used previously to study food sources and trophic relationships in soil invertebrates. In this study, [greek small letter delta] ¹³C and [greek small letter delta] ¹[sup5]N were measured in five species of Longidoridae to investigate the effect of transferring nematodes from one plant host to another. Longidorus elongatus, Paralongidorus maximus, Xiphinema diversicaudatum, X. index, and X. vuittenezi were cultured initially on Lolium perenne, Petunia hybrida, Rubus ideaus, Ficus carica, and Rubus ideaus, respectively, and subsequently transferred to 4-week-old P. hybrida seedlings. After feeding on P. hybrida for 28 days, whole body [greek small letter delta] ¹³C and [greek small letter delta] ¹[sup5]N values of the three Xiphinema species were depleted (P = 0.001) and enriched (P = 0.001), respectively, compared to nematode populations that had fed solely on the original plant hosts. Similar changes in L. elongatus and P. maximus whole body [greek small letter delta] ¹³C and [greek small letter delta] ¹[sup5]N were not detected. Changes in whole body [greek small letter delta] ¹³C are considered to be indicative of the new plant host (P. hybrida), whereas differences in whole body [greek small letter delta] ¹[sup5]N are probably related to the different feeding strategies used by the longidorid nematodes in this study.

Keywords


[greek small letter delta] ¹³C; [greek small letter delta] ¹[sup5]N; carbon isotope; feeding behavior; longidoridae; longidorus; metabolism; natural abundance; nematode; nitrogen isotope; paralongidorus; stable isotopes; xiphinema

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