Biochemical Changes in Root Exudate and Xylem Sap of Tomato Plants Infected with Meloidogyne incognita


  • E. L. H. Wang
  • G. B. Bergeson


Under two monoxenic culture techniques of growing plants (filter paper and silica sand cultures), sugar in root exudate from Meloidogyne incognita-infected tomato increased 133 to 836% over controls. In contrast, amino acids were moderately reduced 52 to 56%. Chromatographic analysis showed that galled root exudate contained three sugars, twelve amino acids, and three organic acids, whereas healthy root exudate contained four sugars, fifteen amino acids, and four organic acids. Polysaccharide was responsible for the large increase of sugars in galled root exudates. The concn and the absolute amount of total sugars in the infected plant xylem sap were greater than in healthy plant xylem sap up to 6 wk after inoculation, whereas amino acids were moderately lower than in controls throughout the test period. Chromatographic analysis showed that xylem sap from both healthy and infected plants at 4 wk after inoculation contained four sugars and five organic acids. We identified 18 and 17 amino acids in the healthy and infected plant xylem sap, respectively. The concn of sugar increased as the nematode inoculum increased at 2, 4 and 6 wk after inoculation. The amino acids in all samples from the infected plant moderately decreased with an increase of nematode inoculum. We suggest that changes in total sugars and amino acids, of infected plant xylem sap and root exudate are a probable mechanism by which tomato plants are predisposed to Fusarium wilt. Key Words: root-knot, Lycopersicon esculentum, disease physiology, disease complex, Fusarium wilt.