Reproductive Strategies and Karyotype of the Burrowing Nematode, Radopholus similis

D. T. Kaplan, C. H. Opperman


Karyotype, gametogenesis, and gonad morphology were characterized for 56 Radopholus spp. isolates collected from Africa, Australia, Central America, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, North America (Florida), and Hawaii. Seven of the isolates, all collected from Florida, were citrus-parasitic. The haploid karyotype for all isolates was n = 5, and gonad organization was similar for each. Furthermore, reproduction did not involve parthenogenesis. Initially, spermatids were produced in young adult females and accumulated in the spermatheca prior to differentiation to sperm. At the cessation of spermatogenesis, oogenesis began and continued for the remainder of the nematode's life. Oocytes first entered a mitotic phase, then a transition zone, and remained in pachytene until they reached the proximal end of the ovary. Thus, Radopholus can reproduce as a hermaphrodite when amphigony does not occur. The gonad is actually an ovatestis.


banana; caenorhabditis elegans; citrus; egg; evolution; genetics; hermaphrodite; karyotype; nematode; oogenesis; ovary; ovatestis; parthenogenesis; polar body; quarantine; radopholus; sperm

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