Phenol Accumulation Related to Resistance in Tomato to Infection by Root-Knot and Lesion Nematodes.


  • C. Hung
  • R. A. Rohde


Host-parasite relationships of Meloidogyne incognita acrita and Pratylenchus penetrans were compared on three closely related cultivars of tomato: "Nemared', resistant to root-knot nematodes; 'Hawaii 7153', moderately resistant; and 'B-5', susceptible. Root-knot nematode larvae induced typical galls on the roots of B-5; larvae that entered Nemared were walled-off by necrotic cells; both reactions occurred in Hawaii 7153. Lesion nematodes caused surface lesions which were initially similar on all cultivars. Five weeks after infection, they penetrated into the stele of the B-5 roots, whereas in Nemared and Hawaii 7153, injury was confined to the cortex. Chlorogenic acid was identified as the major phenofic compound in healthy tomato roots. Nemared contained the highest concentration of the acid and B-5 the lowest. Histochemical tests showed that chlorogenic acid was concentrated in the endodermis. The localized accumulation of chlorogenic acid and its oxidized products in host root cells infected by nematodes was concluded to be an important mechanism of resistance. Key Words: Lycopersicon esculentum, histochemistry, polyphenol oxidase.