Comparison of Meldola’s Blue Staining and Hatching Assay with Potato Root Diffusate for Assessment of Globodera sp. Egg Viability

Duncan Kroese, Inga A. Zasada, Russell E. Ingham


Laboratory-based methods to test egg viability include staining with Meldola’s Blue and/or juvenile (J2) hatching assays using potato root diffusate (PRD). These two methods have not been tested under identical conditions to directly compare their assessments of Globodera egg viability. Using two bioassay strategies, cysts froma Globodera sp. population found inOregon were subjected to both viability assessmentmethods. In strategy one, intact cysts were first stained withMeldola’s Blue (primary staining) and eggs were then transferred to PRD (secondary hatching). In the second strategy, intact cysts were exposed to PRD (primary hatching) and then unhatched eggs were transferred to Meldola’s Blue (secondary staining). Two different cohorts of cysts were evaluated using these experimental strategies: cohort 1 was comprised of cysts produced on potato in the greenhouse that exhibited low hatch when exposed to PRD and cohort 2 consisted of field-collected cysts whose eggs yielded significant hatch when exposed to PRD. Percentage viability was calculated and is expressed as the number of hatched J2 or unstained eggs/total number of eggs within a cyst. With field-produced cysts, primary staining with Meldola’s Blue and hatching with PRD produced similar viability estimates, with averages of 74.9% and 76.3%, respectively. In contrast, with greenhouse-produced cysts the two methods yielded much lower and unequal estimates 32.4% to 2.2%, respectively for primary hatching and staining methods. In addition, J2 hatch fromunstained (viable) greenhouse-produced eggs was 13.7% after secondary exposure to PRD compared to 61.5% for field-produced eggs. The majority of eggs remaining unhatched after primary exposure to PRD (> 87%) stained with Meldola’s Blue regardless of cyst cohort. Staining with Meldola’s Blue provided a conservative assessment of egg viability compared to hatch assay with PRD regardless of diapause.

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