Chemosensory Responses of Plant Parasitic Nematodes to Selected Phytochemicals Reveal Long-Term Habituation Traits.


  • Thomas R. Fleming
  • Aaron G. Maule
  • Colin C. Fleming


bioassay, biological control, behavior, chemosensory, chemotaxis, Globodera pallida, habituation, Meloidogyne incognita, phytochemicals, serotonin


Plant parasitic nematodes (PPN) are important crop pests within the global agri-sector. Critical to their success is a complex and highly sensitive chemosensory system used to locate plants by detecting host cues. In addition to this, the nematode neuronal system has evolved mechanisms to allow adaptation to a changing environment. Clearly, there is a need to better un- derstand the host–parasite relationship and the mechanisms by which PPN successfully locate and infect host plants. Here, we demonstrate the chemotactic response of two economically important PPN species, Meloidogyne incognita and Globodera pallida to selected phytochemicals. We further reveal an adapted chemotactic response in M. incognita second-stage juveniles preexposed to ethephon (Eth), potato root diffusate (PRD), and salicylic acid (SA), and present pharmacological evidence supporting the exis- tence of long-term habituation traits acting via serotonergic-dependent neurotransmission.






Contributed Papers: Ecology and Behavior