Interrelationships between Root-nodule Bacteria, Plant-parasitic Nematodes and their Leguminous Host


  • A. H. Y. Taha
  • D. J. Raski


The effect of infection by Meloidogyne javamca and Heterodera trifolii on number, size, structure and efficiency of nodules formed by Rhizobiurn tri]olii on white clover roots was investigated. Introduction of nematodes one week before, simultaneously, or one week following inoculation with Rhizobium bacteria did not hinder nodule formation. Nodule size did not differ between nematode-infected and nematode-free plants. Formation of nodules on M. javanica galls and gall formation on the nodules have been reported. The structure of nodular tissues was not disturbed by nematode infection, even though giant cells were formed inside the vascular bundles. The nitrogen-fixation efficiency of nematode-infected nodules was not impaired; however, earlier disintegration of nodules as a result of M. ]avanica infection ultimately deprived the plants of nitrogenous materials. The drastic reduction of the total-N in H. trifolii-infected plants reflected stunting of the entire plant due to nematode infection. Both nematodes invaded the entire root system, uniformly showing preference for nodules.